[Digitally prepared by Dr. Ted Hildebrandt

Gordon College, MA  9/11/2002]




















     ALL tradition, from whatever source it is derived,

whether inspired or uninspired, unanimously affirms that

the first five books of the Bible were written by one man

and that man was Moses.  There is no counter-testimony

in any quarter.  From the predominant character of their

contents these books are commonly called the Law.  All

the statutes contained in them are expressly declared to

have been written by Moses or to have been given by the

LORD to Moses.  And if the entire law is his, the history,

which is plainly preparatory for, or subsidiary to, the

law, must be his likewise.

      The Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch has, how-

ever, been challenged in modern times in the name of

the higher criticism on two distinct and independent

grounds.  One is that of the document hypothesis in its

various forms and modifications, which occupies itself

with the narrative portion of the Pentateuch, and on

the ground of literary criteria claims that this is not the

product of anyone writer, but that it has been compiled

from different documents, which are clearly distinguish-

able in diction, style, conception, plan, and design, and

which belong to widely separated ages.  The other is

that of the development hypothesis, which has attached

itself to the preceding, but deals characteristically with a

different portion of the Pentateuch and employs a differ-

ent style of argument.  Its field of operation is the laws,

which it claims were not and could not have been given by

Moses, nor at anyone period in the history of Israel.

vi                                             PREFACE


It professes to trace the growth of this legislation from

simple and primitive forms to those which are more

complex and which imply a later and more developed

civilization.  And it confidently affirms that these laws

could not have been committed to writing in their pres-

ent form for many centuries after the age of Moses.

     These hypotheses are discussed in a general way in my

"Higher Criticism of the Pentateuch," where the fallacy

and inconclusiveness of the reasoning by which they are

defended and the falsity of the conclusions deduced from

them are exposed.  In order to a complete refutation of

these hypotheses it is necessary to show still further by

a detailed examination their inapplicability to, and in-

compatibility with, the phenomena of the Pentateuch,

and that, so far from solving the question of its origin,

they are destitute of any real basis; they find no support

in the Pentateuch itself, but are simply the creations of

learned ingenuity and a lively imagination.

      The present treatise occupies itself exclusively with

the document hypothesis, and aims to prove that the

book of Genesis is not a compilation from different docu-

ments, but is the continuous work of a single writer. 

The demonstration that this hypothesis has no foothold

in Genesis effectually overturns it for the rest of the

Pentateuch, or, if the critics please, the Hexateuch.  It

took its rise in Genesis; the most plausible arguments

in its favor are drawn from that book; and the verdict

rendered by that book substantially settles the case for

those that follow.  It is on the basis of the assumption

that it is firmly established in Genesis that it is carried

through the Hexateuch.  If that assumption is proved

to be false, the hypothesis collapses entirely.

      What is here proposed is a critical study of Genesis

from beginning to end, chapter by chapter and section

by section.  The history of critical opinion is given in

                                      PREFACE                                       vii


full in the more important passages, and is throughout

traced sufficiently to place before the reader the various

views that have been entertained, together with the

grounds adduced on their behalf.  Pains have been taken

to carefully collate and frankly state whatever has been

urged in defence of the hypothesis by its ablest and

most eminent advocates on each successive passage; and

this is then subjected to a thorough and candid exami-

nation.  The reader will thus be put in possession of the

reasons for and against it to the best of the writer's abil-

ity, and can form his own conclusion.  The writer, while

aiming at entire fairness in presenting both sides of the

argument, does not conceal his own assured conviction

of the overwhelming preponderance in favor of the faith

of ages and against the divisive hypothesis of modern


      As the alleged criteria of the different documents are

most fully and clearly stated by Dr. Dillmann, his pres-

entation of them is followed throughout the book, unless

where some other authority is expressly mentioned.

     To avoid constant circumlocution P, J, E, and D are

frequently spoken of as though they were the real en-

tities that the critics declare them to be, and passages

are said to belong to one or the other because critics so

affirm.  Such language adopted for brevity must not be

understood as an admission that the documents so called

ever existed.

     In replying to the objections of Bishop Colenso in

1863 the author ventured the suggestion that he might

at some future time prepare a work on the criticism of

the Pentateuch.  Since that time the positions then

taken by leading critics have been abandoned by them-

selves, and their whole conception of the origin and con-

stitution of the Pentateuch has been revolutionized.

      The complex character of the Pentateuchal question

viii                                 PREFACE


and the tedious minuteness required in its thorough ex-

amination doubtless supply the reason why so many

critics are content with repeating or building upon the

conclusions of their predecessors without investigating

for themselves the soundness of the basis on which these

conclusions rest.  The author frankly confesses for him-

self that, while he felt at every point the weakness and

unsatisfactory character of the arguments of the divisive

critics, he was long deterred by the complexity of the

task from undertaking to prepare such a treatise as the

nature of the case required.  He might have continued

still to shrink from it but for the proposal, in 1888,

by his friend Dr. W. R. Harper, of an amicable dis-

cussion of the subject in the columns of the Hebraica.

The kindly proposal was accepted, though with some

hesitation lest the cause whose defence was thus under-

taken might suffer from unskilful advocacy.  It seemed,

however, to involve less responsibility and to be a less

onerous undertaking to engage in such a discussion,

piecemeal, in the columns of a quarterly journal, at

the solicitation of a friend, than to set myself to the

preparation of a work on the entire subject of my own

motion.  The discussion thus begun was continued at

intervals, step by step, through the whole of the narrative

portion of the Pentateuch.  Though convinced at the

outset of the unsoundness in the main of the arguments

urged on behalf of the critical partition of the Penta-

teuch by its principal defenders, I did not know but

there might be some fire where there was so much

smoke, and some possible foundation for the positive

assertions in which the critics are so prone to indulge.

The discussion was accordingly begun with no absolute

prepossession on my part for or against the existence of

Pentateuchal documents.  One thing was clear to my

mind from the beginning, that the Pentateuch as inspired

PREFACE                                       ix


of God was a true and trustworthy record; everything

else was left to be determined by the evidence which it

should supply.  As the discussion proceeded I found my-

self unable to discover sufficient reason anywhere for the

assumption that the Pentateuch was a compilation from

pre-existing documents; and by the time that my task

was completed I had settled down in the assured belief

that the so-called documents were a chimera, and that

the much-vaunted discovery of Astruc was no discovery

at all, but an ignis fatuus which has misled critics ever

since into a long and weary and fruitless search through

fog and mire, that might better be abandoned for a

forward march on terra firma.

       The discussion in the Hebraica prepared the way for

the volume now offered to the public, in which the

attempt is made to treat the question with more thor-

oughness than was possible in the limitations necessarily

imposed in a crowded quarterly.  The ground there

traversed has been carefully re-examined and explored

at afresh in the light shed upon it by the ablest minds on

either side of the controversy.  The prominence ac-

corded to German scholars is due to the fact that the

have been the chief laborers in the field.  The various

partition hypotheses, after Astruc's conjecture, as he

himself termed it, had pointed out the way, have been

originated and elaborated by German scholars. And if

they have failed to put them upon a solid basis, it is but

from no lack of learning, ingenuity, or perseverance, but

much from the inherent weakness of the cause.

     It is hoped that this volume may prove a serviceable

text-book for the study of criticism; that it may meet

the wants of theological students and ministers who de-

sire to acquaint themselves thoroughly with a subject of

such prominence and importance; and that it may like-

wise prove helpful to intelligent laymen who, omitting

x                                    PREFACE


the discussion of Hebrew words that are necessarily in-

troduced, may be led by it to a better understanding of

the book of Genesis in its connection and the mutual

relation of its several parts, and be helped in the solu-

tion of difficulties and the removal of objections.  It

stands on the common ground, dear alike to all who re-

gard the Pentateuch as the word of God through Moses,

whether Jew or Christian, Catholic or Protestant, clergy-

man or layman.  If by the divine blessing it shall be

made to contribute in any measure to the elucidation or

defence of this part of Holy Scripture, or to the confir-

mation of the faith of any, or to the relief of such as

may have been perplexed or troubled by anxious doubts

or misgivings, the author will be profoundly grateful to

Him to whom all praise is due.



PRINCETON, N. J., September 26, 1895.












THE BOOK OF GENESIS,                                                      1

        The creation of the heavens and the earth (Gen. i. 1-ii. 3),

   words indicative of P, 4.



THE GENERATIONS OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH (CH. II. 4-IV.)                                                                                             7

       Primitive state and fall of man (ch. ii. 4-iii. 24), 7; false critical    

   methods, 7; no duplicate account of the creation,

   9; no discrepancies, 20; words and phrases indicative of J,

   29 ; mutual relation of this and the preceding section, 33.

   Cain and Abel--Cain's descendants (ch. iv.), 36; marks of J, 39.



THE GENERATIONS OF ADAM (CH. V. 1- VI. 8),                  42

        Adam to Noah (ch. v.), 42; the Cainite and Sethite gen-

   ealogies, 43; duplicate statements, 47; primeval chronology,

   49; marks of P, 50.  The Sons of God and the Daughters of

   Men (ch. vi. 1-8), 51; marks of J, 61.



THE GENERATIONS OF NOAR (CH. VI. 9-IX. 29),                 65

        The flood (ch. vi. 9-ix. 17), 65; the critical partition of

   ch. vi. 5-ix. 17, 66; J not continuous, 71; P not contin-

   uous, 78; no superfluous repetitions, 83 ; the divine names,

   88; no discrepancies, 90; difference of diction, 94; marks

   of P, 96; marks of J, 116; numerical correspondence, 121;

   the Assyrian flood tablets? 122,  Noah after the flood (ch.

   ix. 18-29), 127.


xii                                   CONTNETS





Origin of nations (ch. x.), 131 ; marks of P, 141 ; marks

of J, 143. Tower of Babel (ch. xi. 1-9),143; marks of J, 145.



THE GENERATIONS 0F SHEM (CH. XI. 10-26),                          146

         Shem to Abram (ch. xi. 10-26), 146.



THE GENERATIONS OF TERAH (Cx. XI. 27-XXV. 11),             148

         Preliminary remarks, 148; the divine names, 151; the crit-

   ical partition, 154; no discrepancies, 161.  The family of

   Terah (ch. xi. 27-32), 168.  The call of Abram and his jour-

neys (ch. xii.), 171; critical partition of vs. 1-9, 172; marks

of P, 175; marks of J, 181.  Abram in Egypt (vs. 10-20),

182; marks of J, 185.  Separation from Lot (ch. xiii), 185;

grounds of partition, 186; marks of P, 192; marks of J, 193.

Abram's rescue of Lot (ch. xiv.), 195.  Promise and cove-

nant of Jehovah (ch. xv.), 202.  Birth of Ishmael (ch. xvi.),

208; marks of P, 213; marks of J, 215.  Covenant sealed

by Abraham (ch. xvii.), 217; style of P, 226; marks of P,

231.  Visit to Abraham and destruction of Sodom (ch. xviii.

1-xix. 28), 236; marks of J, 240.  Lot's incest (ch. xix. 29-

38), 246; marks of J, 250.  Abraham with Abimelech, king

of Gerar (ch. xx.), 250; critical embarrassment, 250; diction

of ch. xx., 252; not referable to a distinct document, 254;

marks of E, 259.  Birth of Isaac and dismissal of Ishmael (ch.

xxi. 1-21), 262; critical perplexity, 262; division impossible,

266 ; marks of P, 269; marks of J, 269; marks of E, 270. 

Abraham at Beersheba (ch. xxi 22-34), 273; marks of E,

276.  Sacrifice of Isaac (ch. xxii. 1-19), 277; the critical par-

tition, 278; marks of E, 286; marks of R, 288; no proof of

separate documents, 290.  Family of Nahor (ch. xxii. 20-24),

291; marks of J, 292.  Death and burial of Sarah (ch. xxiii.),

293; marks of P, 296.  Marriage of Isaac (ch. xxiv.), 298;

marks of J, 304.  Conclusion of Abraham's life (ch. xxv.

1-11), 307; marks of P, 310.

CONTENTS                            xiii




THE GENERATIONS OF ISHMAEL (CH. XXV. 12-18),         312

         Marks of P, 313.




         Esau and Jacob (ch. xxv. 19-34), 314; marks of P, 320;

   marks of J, 321.  Isaac in Gerar and Beersheba (ch. xxvi.

   1-33), 322; marks of J, 326.  Jacob's blessing and depart-

   ure (ch. xxvi. 34-xxviii. 9), 328; marks of P, 332; marks of

   of J, 333; marks of E, 333.  Jacob's dream (ch. xxviii.

   10-22), 335; marks of J, 341; marks of E, 342.  Jacob in

   Haran (chs. xxix., xxx.), 344; the divine names, 350;

   marks of J. 353; marks of E, 354.  Jacob's return from

   Haran (ch. xxxi-xxxii. 3), 357; hiatus in the document P,

   362; the covenant of Laban and Jacob, 365; the divine

   names, 369; marks of P, 370; marks of E, 370.  Meeting

   of Jacob and Esau (ch. xxxii. 4-xxxiii. 17), 372; Jacob

   wrestling with the angel, 377; no proof of a parallel narra-

   tive, 380; the divine names, 380; marks of J, 381.  The

   rape of Dinah (ch. xxxiii 18-xxxiv.), 382; Jacob's arrival

   in Shechem, 383; critical difficulties, 386; divergence of the

   critics, 388; not composite, 398; marks of P, 402; marks

   of J, 403.  Jacob at Bethel and Isaac's death (ch. xxxv.),

   404.  Jacob at Bethel, 405; death of Rachel, 408; grounds

   of partition irrelevant, 411; conclusion of the section, 412.




        Opinions of critics, 415; unity of the chapter, 417 ; no dis-

   crepancies, 420; no anachronism, 425.



THE GENERATIONS OF JACOB (CR. XXXVII. 2-L.),                    430

         The unity of plan, 430; lack of continuity in the docu-

ments, 434; the divine names, 434; diction and style, 435.

Joseph sold into Egypt (ch. xxxvii. 2-36), 437; variance

xiv                                            CONTENTS



   among critics, 437; grounds of partition, 447; marks of J,

   450.  The narrative of Judah and Tamar (ch. xxxviii), 452;

   no lack of order, 452; no anachronism, 454; marks of J,

   455.  Joseph is cast into prison (ch. xxxix.), 457; no dis-

   crepancies, 457; the divine names, 459; marks of J, 462.

   Dreams of the butler and baker (ch. xl.), 463; no discrep-

   ancy, 464; no anachronism, 466; diction, 467.  Pharaoh's

   dreams (ch. xli.), 467; grounds of partition, 468.  Journeys

   of Jacob's sons to Egypt (ch. xlii.-xliv.), 473; no discrep-

   ancy, 475; the divine names, 482; marks of J and E, 483.

   Joseph makes himself known (ch. xlv.), 487; marks of E,

   491.  Removal to Egypt (ch. xlvi 1-27), 492; marks of J,

   498; marks of E, 498; marks of P, 498.  Settlement in

   Goshen (ch. xlvi. 29-xlvii. 11),499; marks of P, 502; marks

   of J, 502.  Joseph's arrangements in Egypt (ch. xlvii. 12-27),

   504; marks of E, 506; marks of J, 507; marks of P, 509.  Jacob

   charges Joseph and adopts his sons (ch. xlvii. 28-xlviii.

   22), 510; marks of P, 518; marks of E, 518; marks of J,

   519.  Jacob's blessing and death (ch. xlix.), 519; no vati-

   cinium post eventum, 521; marks of P, 526.  The burial of

   Jacob and death of Joseph (ch.l.), 526; marks of J, 529;

   marks of E, 530.


CONCLUSION,                                                                       531

         Grounds of partition, 531; repetitions and discrepancies,

   532; the divine names, 538; diction, style, and conception,

   548; continuity of Genesis, 554; chasms in the documents,

   556; when and where produced, 560.  Summary of the argu-

   ment, 571.




I.  THE DIVINE NAMES,                                                                  573


III. CHARACTERISTIC WORDS AND PHRASES,                         574

IV. THE ENGLISH EQUIVALENTS,                                                579










*** These works are here arranged in the order of their publication.

The reader can thus see at a glance where each belongs in the history of

critical opinion.


Matthew Poole, Annotations upon the Holy Bible, First Edition, 1683.

Astruc, Conjectures sur leg Memoires Originaux, dont il paroit, que

     Moyse s'est servi pour composer le Livre de la Genese, 1753.

Harmer, Observations on Divers Passages of Scripture, Second Edi-

     tion, 1776.

Ilgen, Die Urkunden des ersten Buchs von Moses in ihrer Urgestalt,


Vater, Commentar uber den Pentateuch, Theil i, ii., 1802; Theil iii,


Eichhorn, Einleitung in das Alte Testament, Dritte Ausgabe, 1803;

     Vierte Ausgabe, 1823.

DeWette, Beitrage zur Einleitung in das Alte Testament, Erstes Band-

     chen, 1806; Zweiter Band, 1807.

Ewald, Die Komposition der Genesis kritisch untersucht, 1823.

Gramberg, Libri Geneseos Secundum Fontes rite dignoscendos Adum- 

     bratio nova, 1828.

F. H. Ranke, Untersuchungen fiber den Pentateuch aus dem Gebiete

     der hoheren Kritik, Erster Band, 1831; Zweiter Band, 1840.

Hengstenberg, Die Authentie des Pentateuches, Erster Band, 1836;

     Zweiter Band, 1839.

Movers. Review of von Bohlen's Genesis in Zeitschrift fur Philosophie

     und Katholische Theologie, 1836.

Havernick, Handbuch der historish-kritischen Einleitung in das Alte

     Testament, Erster Theil, Zweite Abtheilung, 1837.

Tuch, Kommentar uber die Genesis, 1838; Zweite Aufiage, 1871.

Stahelin, Kritische Untersuchungen uber den Pentateuch, die Bucher

     Josua, Richter, Samuels, und del Konige, 1843.  

Kurtz, Die Einheit der Genesis, 1846.

Winer, Biblisches Realworterbuch, Dritte Aufiage, 1847.

Ewald, Jahrbucher del Biblischen Wissenchaft for 1851-52.




Knobel, Die Genesis, 1852.

Delitzsch, Die Genesis, 1852, Dritte Ausgabe, 1860; Vierte Ausgabe,

     1872.  Neuer Commentar uber die Genesis, 1887.

Kurtz, Geschichte des Alten Bundes, Erster Band, Zweite Aufiage, 1853.

Hupfeld, Die Quellen der Genesis und die Art ihrer Zusammensetzung,


Robinson, Biblical Researches in Palestine and in the Adjacent Re-

     gions, 1856.

Bohmer, Das Erste Buch der Thora, Ubersetzung seiner drei Quellen-

     schriften und der Redactionszusatze mit kritischen, exegetischen,  

     historischen Erorterungen, 1862.

Noldeke, Untersuchungen zur Kritik des Alten Testaments, 1869.  Merx, 

     Article on Dinah in Schenkel's Bibel-Lexikon, 1869.

Schrader, Editor of the "eighth thoroughly improved, greatly en-

     larged and in part wholly transformed edition" of DeWette's

     Lehrbuch der historisch-kritischen Einleitung in die kanonischen

     und apokryphischen Bucher des Alten Testaments, 1869.

Kayser, Das vorexilische Buch der Urgeschichte Israels und seine 

     Erweiterungen, ein Beitrag zur Pentateuch-kritik, 1874.

George Smith, Translation of the flood tablets in his Assyrian Dis-

     coveries, 1875; the Chaldean Account of Genesis, 1876; and Records 

     of the Past, vol. vii., 1876.

Wellhausen, Die Composition des Hexateuchs, in the Jahrbticher fur

     Deutsche Theologie, 1876-1877; republished in Skizzen und 

     Vorarbeiten, Zweites Heft, 1885; and again in Die Composition des

     Hexateuchs und der hist orischen Bucher des .Alten Testa. ments,


Kuenen, The Religion of Israel to the Fall of the Jewish State, trans-

     lated by A. H. May, vol. i, 1874.

Dillmann, Die Genesis, first edition published as the third edition of

     Knobel's Commentary, 1875; second edition (Knobel's fourth),

     1882; third edition (Knobel's fifth), 1886.

Wellhausen, Geschichte Israels, 1878, republished as Prolegomena zur

      Geschichte Israels, 1883.  Third edition, 1886.

Oort, The Bible for Learners, English translation, 1878.

Colenso, The Pentateuch and Book of Joshua critically examined, 

     Part Vii., 1879.

Reuss, Die Geschichte der Heiligen Schriften Alten Testaments, 1881.

Haupt, Der keilinschriftliche Sintfluthbericht, in Schrader's Die Keil-

     inschriften und das Alte Testament, 1883.




Budde, Die Biblische Urgeschichte (Gen. i-xii 5), 1883.

Kuenen, An Historico-critical Inquiry into the Origin and Composi-

     tion of the Hexateuch. Translated by P. H. Wicksteed, 1886.

Vatke, Historisch-kritische Einleitung in das Alte Testament, 1886.

Stade, Geschichte des Volkes Israel, 1887.

Kittel, Geschichte der Hebraer, 1888.

Harper, The Pentateuchal Question, in the Hebraica for 1888-1892.

Kautzsch und Socin, Die Genesis mit ausserer Unterscheidung der

     Quellenschriften, 1888; Zweite Aufiage, 1891.  Reproduced in

     English as Genesis Printed in Colors, showing the original sources 

     from which it is supposed to have been compiled, with an intro-

     duction by E. C. Bissell.

Cornill, Einleitung in das Alte Testament, 1891.

Driver, An Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament, 1891.

Strack, Die Genesis, 1892.

Davis, Genesis and Semitic Tradition, 1894.

Kuenen, Gesammelte Abhandlungen zur Biblischen Wissenchaft.

     Aus dem Hollandischen ubersetzt von K. Budde, 1894.













     THE history opens with an introductory section (ch.

i.-ii. 3), which declares how God in the beginning created

the heavens and the earth as the theatre upon which it

was to be transacted.  This is followed by ten sections

of unequal length, which make up the rest of the book

of Genesis, and are introduced by titles of a uniform

pattern.  These titles are as follows:

     1. Gen. ii. 4.  These are the generations of the heaven

and of the earth.

     2. Gen. v. 1.  This is the book of the generations of


     3. Gen. vi. 9.  These are the generations of Noah.

     4.  Gen. x. 1.  These are the generations of the sons of


     5. Gen. xi. 10.  These are the generations of Shem.

     6. Gen. xi. 27.  These are the generations of Terah.

     7. Gen. xxv. 12.  These are the generations of Ish-


     8. Gen. xxv. 19.  These are the generations of Isaac.

     9. Gen. xxxvi. 1.  These are the generations of Esau.1

     10. Gen. xxxvii. 2.  These are the generations of



     1 Repeated, ver. 9, for a reason to be explained when that

chapter comes under consideration.


2                                    THE BOOK OF GENESIS


     These titles are designed to emphasize and render

more prominent and palpable an important feature of

the book, the genealogical character of its history.  This

results from its main design, which is to trace the line of

descent of the chosen race from the beginning to the

point where it was ready to expand to a great nation,

whose future organization was already foreshadowed, its

tribes being represented in the twelve sons of Jacob, and

its tribal divisions in their children.  The genealogies

contained in the book are not merely incidental or sub-

ordinate, but essential, and the real basis of the whole. 

They are not to be regarded as addenda to the narrative,

scraps of information introduced into it; they constitute

the skeleton or framework of the history itself.  They

are not separate productions culled from different sources,

and here inserted by the author as he found them.  From

whatever quarters the materials may have been obtained

they were cast into their present form by the writer him-

self, as is evident from the uniformity of the construc-

tion of those relating to the chosen race on the one hand,

and those of alien races on the other, together with the

unbroken continuity of the former. These exhibit at

once the kinship of Israel to all the nations of the earth,

all being of one blood and sprung from one common

stock, and their separation from the rest of mankind for

a special divine purpose, God's gracious choice of them

to be his peculiar people until the time should arrive

for spreading the blessing of Abraham over all the


     There is, accordingly, a regular series of genealogies of

like structure, or rather one continuous genealogy extend-

ing from Adam to the family of Jacob.  This is inter-

rupted or suspended from time to time, as occasion re-

quires, for the sake of introducing or incorporating facts

of the history at particular points where they belong;


                             THE BOOK OF GENESIS                                3


after which it is resumed again precisely at the same

point, and proceeds regularly as before until it reaches

its utmost limit, thus embracing the entire history with-

in itself.  Thus, for example, the genealogy in ch. v.

states in identically recurring formulae the age of each

parent at the birth of his child, the number of years that

he lived subsequently, and the length of his entire life.

But when the name of Noah is reached, the record is,

ver. 32, "And Noah was five hundred years old; and

Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth," three sons being

mentioned instead of one, as was uniformly the case be-

fore.  And here the genealogy abruptly terminates with-

out the further statements that analogy would lead us

to expect, how long Noah lived after the birth of his

children, and how many years he lived in all.  This is

not the end of a genealogical fragment, disconnected from

all that follows.  It is merely interrupted for a time in

order to introduce the account of the deluge, which so

intimately concerned Noah and his three sons; after

which the missing members are supplied, and the series

resumed in substantially the same form as before (ix. 28,

29).  Again, the genealogy continued in xi. 10 sqq. breaks

off (ver. 26) precisely as it had done before, by stating

the age of a father at the birth of his three sons.  "And

Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and

Haran;" the usual statement as to the length of his life

and the fact of his death being postponed to ver. 32, in

all the order to introduce some facts respecting Terah and par-

ticularly respecting his sons, which had an important

bearing on the subsequent history.  And the entire life

of Abraham is fitted into the next link of the genealogy:

his age at the birth of his son Isaac (xxi. 5), whom he

begat (xxv. 19), and his full age at the time of his death

(xxv. 7, 8).


4                           THE BOOK OF GENESIS


(CH. I. 1-II. 3).

      The critics assign this opening section of Genesis to P,

because of its unvarying use of Elohim, as well as on the

ground of its style and diction.  They also include in

this section ii. 4a, which they regard as a summary state-

ment of its contents.  This and the alleged difference of

style between this section and the next can best be con-

sidered hereafter.  For the present it will be sufficient to

give attention to the diction.  Dr. Dillmann adduces the

following words and expressions as indicative of P:  Nymi

kind, species (vs. 11, 12, 21,24, 25); Cr,xAhA ty>aHa beast of the

earth (vs. 24, 25, 30); CrawA creep, swarm, bring forth abun-

dantly, and Wm,r,  moving creature (vs. 20, 21); WmarA creep,

and  Wm,r, creeping thing (vs. 21, 24-26, 28, 30); wbaKA subdue

(ver. 28); hlak;xA food (ver. 30); hv,q;mi gathering together, col-

lection (ver. 10); hbArAv; hrAPA be fruitful and multiply (vs. 22,

28)  hbAqen;U rkAzA male and female (ver. 27); lyDib;hi divide (vs.

4, 6, 7, 14, 18); tUmD; likeness (ver. 26). .

     The distribution of these words in the Hexateuch is instructive.

That which is rendered "likeness" occurs

besides in it only Gen. v. 1, 3, where it is used with ex-

press allusion to i. 26.  "Subdue" occurs besides in the

Hexateuch only Num. xxxii. 22, 29 (a chapter in which,

according to the critics, the documents P, J, and E are

intermingled, and both of these verses contain what are

reckoned indications of JE), and Josh. xviii. 1, an iso-

lated verse in a JE paragraph.  The rest of these words

and phrases occur nowhere else in Genesis, unless it be

in the account of the flood. And the reason why most

Q of them are to be found there is obvious.  The different

classes of land animals brought into being at the creation

perished in the flood, and it is natural that they should

be mentioned in both cases; like mention is also made


THE CREATION (CH. I. 1-II. 3)             5


of "food" as necessary to life; the perpetuation of the

species leads to the reference to the sexes.  The full

phrase, as used in Gen. i. "Be fruitful and multiply and

fill," or "replenish," only occurs again (ix. 1), in the

blessing pronounced upon mankind after the flood, which

was as appropriate as after the creation; the phrase "Be

fruitful and multiply" occurs besides only in application

to Abraham and his descendants, where it is equally in

place.  Such of these words as occur elsewhere are found

only in the ritual law.  "Food" and "kind" and differ-

ent sorts of animals are, as a matter of course, spoken of,

where direction is given in respect to what mayor may

not be eaten; and sex in like manner in prescribing the

animals to be offered in sacrifice, or the purifications at the

birth of children, or the rite of circumcision.  "Divide"

does not occur in the narrative of the flood, but is found

again in the ritual law with reference to the distinctions

there made in regard to clean and unclean, holy and un-

holy or common, or separating to special functions or

purposes, or to cleavage in sacrifice.  The word translated

"gathering together" is found but twice in the Hexateuch

apart from Gen. i., viz., Ex. vii. 19, Lev. xi. 36, where

collections of water are referred to, and nowhere else in

this sense in the entire Old Testament.

      It is manifest from the foregoing that the occurrence

of these words is determined, not by the predilection of

a particular writer, but by the subject which calls for

their employment.  They belong not to the characteris-

tics of a document, but are the common property of all

who use the language, and may be found whenever there

is occasion to describe the object denoted by them.

Their absence from all the paragraphs or clauses as-

signed by the critics to J or E is to be accounted for

precisely as their absence from every paragraph of P but

those designated above.

6                           THE BOOK OF GENESIS


      For a more detailed account of the usage of the words

common to the creation and flood, see under ch. vi.-ix.,

Marks of P.

     Elohim is plainly the appropriate name for God

throughout this section, which regards the Most High as

working in nature and in the world at large.  True, the

creative act may be ascribed to Jehovah (Ex. xx. 11),

when the thought to be conveyed is that Israel's God,

who brought him out of the land of Egypt, was the cre-

ator of the world; but when the announcement to be

made simply is that the world had a divine creator, Elo-

him is the proper term, and is hence constantly used in

the account of the creation.










      THE question to be considered is, Do these chapters

continue the narrative begun in the preceding section, or

do they introduce a new and independent narrative from

an altogether different source?  The critics allege that

they stand in no relation to what goes before, that a new

beginning is here made, and that this account is taken

from another document, that of J. It is said that the

second chapter of Genesis cannot have been written by

the author of the fu'st chapter; for (1) it is a second ac-

count of the creation, and is superfluous for that reason;

(2) it differs from the first account, and is irreconcilable

with it; (3) the diction and style are different.




     The critics here bring into operation at the outset two

vicious methods, which characterize their whole course

of procedure and are the most potent instruments which

they employ in effecting the partition of the text.

     The first is the arbitrary assumption that two different

parts of a narrative, relating to matters which are quite

distinct, are variant accounts of the same thing.  It is

very easy to take two narratives or two parts of the

same narrative, which have certain points in common



but which really describe different transactions, and lay

them alongside of one another and point out the lack of

correspondence between them.  The artifice of the crit-

ics consists in their identifying distinct things, and then

every divergence of the one from the other is claimed

as evidence that these are variant traditions, and that

these discrepant accounts cannot be by the same author;

they must have been taken from different documents.

Whereas, there is no mystery in the case and no occa-

sion for any such extraordinary conclusion.  The simple

fact is that the writer has finished one part of his story

and has proceeded to another; and, as might be ex-

pected, he does not detail over again what he had just

detailed before.

     The second of the vicious methods, which is continu-

ally practised by the divisive critics and is one of their

most effective weapons, also finds exemplification in the

chapters now under consideration.  It is their constant

effort to create a discordance where none really exists.

Passages are sundered from their context, which eluci-

date and determine their meaning, and then any form of

expression which admits of a signification at variance

with what is stated elsewhere is seized upon and pressed

to the utmost and urged as a proof of diverse representa-

tions, requiring the assumption of different documents;

when, if it were only allowed to bear its natural sense in

the connection in which it stands, all appearance of dis-

crepancy will disappear.  There is nothing for which

the critics seem to have such an aversion as a harmoniz-

ing interpretation; and very naturally, for it annuls all

their work.  And yet it is the plain dictate of common

sense that the different parts of the same instrument

should be interpreted in harmony, provided the language

employed will in fairness admit of such an interpreta-


   PRIMITIVE STATE OF MAN (CH. II. 4-11I. 24)           9


     The simple observance of this obvious rule, together

with the principle before referred to, that things which

are really distinct should be treated as distinct, will not

only relieve all the critical doubts and perplexities rela-

tive to the chapters now before us, but the great major-

ity of those which are raised in the rest of Genesis and

author; of the Pentateuch as well.




     That the second chapter does not contain another ac-

count of the creation additional to that in the first can

be readily shown.

     And in the first place it does not profess to be an ac-

count of the creation, but something additional to and of

their different from it. It is in express terms declared to be

a L in the sequel of the narrative of the creation. The second sec-

tion is introduced by a special descriptive title (ver. 4a) :

"These are the generations of the heavens and of the

earth when they were created."  It is very important to

understand the precise meaning of these words and the

purpose for which they are introduced.  There has been

much dispute both as to the proper connection of this

clause and how it is to be understood.

      Is it a subscription to the preceding section, setting

forth its contents?  Or is it introductory to the following

section and descriptive of its contents?  It can be shown

beyond question that it is the heading of the section that

follows, and is here introduced to announce its subject.

     The formula "These are the generations," etc., occurs

ten times in the book of Genesis, and in every instance

but the present indisputably as the title of the section to

which it is prefixed.  The history is parcelled into" the

generations of Adam" (v. 1), "the generations of Noah "

(vi. 9), "the generations of the sons of Noah" (x. 1),



"the generations of Shem" (xi. 10),  "the generations of

Terah" (ri. 27), and so on to the end of the book.

     Each of these titles introduces a new section of the

history, longer or shorter as the case may be, and an-

nounces the subject treated in that section.  The book

of Genesis after the first or preliminary chapter is thus,

in the plan of its author, divided into ten distinct sections,

to each of which he has given a separate heading of this

uniform pattern.  They are called "generations" be-

cause the, framework of the entire history is a genealogy,

which is traced in a direct line from Adam to Jacob and

his posterity.  All the facts that are related and the

statements made are introduced between the links of this

genealogy.  The line of descent is arrested at the proper

point, the narratives belonging there are inserted, and

then the line of descent is taken up again just where it

left off and proceeds as before.  Divergent lines are

traced, as occasion arises, to a sufficient distance, and are

then dropped, the writer uniformly reverting to the main

line of descent, that of the chosen race, which is his prin-

cipal theme.  This being the constant plan of the book

this formula, which in every other instance is the title

of the section to which it is prefixed, must be the same

in this case likewise.  It is the heading of the second

section, and can be nothing else.

      This conclusion is not only demanded by the uniform

analogy of the entire series of similar titles but by other

considerations likewise:

      1.  It is confirmed by the identical structure of the im-

mediately following clause here and in v. 1, where the

connection is unquestioned.  "In the day of Jehovah

Elohim's making earth and heaven," follows the title

"the generations of the heaven and of the earth," in pre-

cise conformity with "in the day of Elohim's creating

Adam," after the title "the generations of Adam."

PRIMITIVE STATE OF MAN (CH. II. 4-III. 24)                11


     2.  If ii. 4a is a subscription to the preceding section,

then ii. 4b-iv. 26 is the only portion of the book without

a title, while i. 1-ii. 3 will have two titles, one which is

entirely appropriate at the beginning (i. 1), and one which

is altogether unsuitable at the end.

     3.  On the divisive hypothesis the additional incongru-

ity results, that when the section ascribed to J (ii. 4b-ch.

iv.) is excluded, and the connection restored, as it origi-

nally existed in P, ii. 4a will be immediately followed by

v. 1, and thus two titles will have stood in direct juxta-


     Now what does the generations of the heavens and of

the earth mean?  It has sometimes been interpreted to

mean an account of the origin of the heavens and of the

earth, such as we find in ch. i., to which it is then claimed

that this must be attached as explanatory of the contents

of that chapter.  But neither the words themselves nor

their usage elsewhere will admit of this interpretation.

      "The book of the generations of Adam " (v. 1) is a list

of the descendants of Adam.  "The generations of Noah"

(vi. 9) records the history of Noah's family.  "The gener-

ations of the sons of Noah" (x. 1) and "the generations

of Shem" (xi. 10), trace the various lines of their descend-

ants.  And so it is uniformly.  "The generations of A

or B" do not detail his ancestry or his origin, but either

give the history of his immediate family or the continu-

ous line of his descendants.  And this the proper signifi-

cation of the Hebrew word so rendered necessarily de-

mands.  It denotes "generations" in the sense of that

which is generated or begotten, the offspring of a pro-


     Accordingly this title, "the generations of the heaven

and the earth," must announce as the subject of the sec-

tion which it introduces not an account of the way in

which the heaven and the earth were themselves brought



into being, but an account of the offspring of heaven and

earth; in other words, of man who is the child of both

worlds, his body formed of the dust of the earth, his soul

of heavenly origin, inbreathed by God himself.  And so

the sections proceed regularly. First, Gen. i. 1, "In

the beginning God created the heaven and the earth," the

title announcing that the theme of the first chapter is

the creation. Then ii. 4, "The generations of the heav-

ens and the earth," announcing that the theme of what

follows is the offspring of heaven and earth, or the his-

tory of Adam and his family.  Then v. 1, "The genera-

tions of Adam," in which his descendants are traced to

Noah and his sons.  Then vi. 4," The generations of

Noah," or the history of Noah's family, and so on to the

end of the book.

     But here we are met by Dr. Dillmann and other lead-

ing advocates of the divisive hypothesis, who say, It is

true that "the generations of the heavens and the earth"

denote that which has sprung from the heavens and the

earth; but this is the title of ch. i. nevertheless, which

records how grass and trees and animals and man came

forth from the earth, and the sun, moon, and stars made 

their appearance in the heavens.  This must, therefore,

originally have stood at the beginning of ch. i., and it has

been transposed to its present position by the redactor.

This shows what a useful person the redactor is in the

service of the critics.  Here is a clause which is seriously

in their way where it stands at present.  It rivets the

second chapter to the first in more ways than one.  It

declares positively that ch. ii. is not a parallel account of

the creation taken from another source, but is a sequel

to the narrative of the creation already given in ch. i.

Moreover, this formula, which the critics tell us is one of

the marks of the document P, to which the first chapter

is alleged to belong, as distinguished from the document

PRIMITIVE STATE OF MAN (CH. II. 4-III. 24)                13


J, to which the section before us is referred, and whose

words are the words of P and not of J, is here found at-

tached to the wrong document, thus annulling in certain

marked respects their favorite argument from diction and

style.  It is an obstacle to be gotten rid of, therefore, at

all hazards.  The aid of the redactor is accordingly

called in, and the disturbing clause is spirited away to a

safe distance and located at the beginning of the first

chapter, instead of the beginning of the second section,

where it actually stands.

      Only it is unfortunate that the redactor is of no avail

in the present instance.  The clause in question never

could have been the title of ch. i.  It is obvious that the

heavens and the earth must first be brought into exist-

ence before the generations of the heavens and the earth

can be spoken of, just as Adam and Noah must precede

the generations of Adam and the generations of Noah.

Besides, it would be altogether inappropriate as a title of

ch. i.  The firmament and the heavenly bodies, the seas

and the dry land, the work of the first four days, are

identical with the heavens and the earth, not their off-

spring.  The creating and shaping of the material uni-

verse cannot with propriety be included under the "gen-

erations" of the heavens and the earth, and the writer of

the chapter could never have expressed its purport in

such terms.  And even the vegetable and animal prod-

ucts, which by creative fiat were made to issue from the

earth on the third, fifth, and sixth days, were wholly of

an earthly, not a heavenly, mould.  And the title, if un-

derstood of such products, would stand in no relation to

the subsequent titles of the book.  Grass and trees and

animals supply no stepping-stone to the next title, the

Generations of Adam.  It is only Adam himself that can

do this.  It is not until ver. 26 that the creation of man

is reached.  And man in ch. i. is considered simply in his



place in the general scheme of created things.  He is in-

troduced into the world; but there is no record of what

befell him or his family, such as we are authorized to ex-

pect, such as is in fact given in ii. 4b-iv. 26.  Every sim-

ilar title in Genesis is followed either by a history of the

immediate offspring or by successive generations of de-


     The clause which we have been considering is an ob-

stacle to the partition of the first two chapters which it

has not been possible to remove by any critical device. 

It plainly declares the subject of the second section to

be not the creation of the world, but the formation of

man and the first stage of human history.

     It remains to be added that an examination of the

second section itself will show that it does not in point

of fact contain a fresh account of the creation.  The

opening words, "In the day that Jehovah God made the

earth and the heavens," do not introduce an account of

making earth arid heaven, but presuppose it as having

already taken place, and the writer proceeds to indicate

the condition of things when it was done and what fol-

lowed subsequently.  No mention is made of the forma-

tion of the earth or the production of the dry land; none

of the sea and its occupants; none of the firmament or of

the sun, moon, and stars; none of covering the earth with

its varied vegetation, but only of planting a garden in

Eden and making its trees grow from the ground (vs. 8, 9).

When banished from Eden, man was to eat "the herb of

the field "(iii. 18), whose existence is thus assumed, but

whose production is only spoken of in ch. i.  These par-

ticulars could not be omitted from an account of the crea-

tion.  To say, as is done by Dr. Dillmann, that they may 

originally have been contained in ch. ii., but were omitted

by R because they were treated sufficiently in ch. i., is to

make an assumption without a particle of evidence,

PRIMITIVE STATE OF MAN (CH. II. 4-111. 24)   15


which amounts simply to a confession that ch. ii. is not

what it would have been if the writer had intended to

give a narrative of the creation, and that its omissions

are with definite reference to the contents of ch. i.  In

other words, ch. ii. has no claim to be regarded as a sep-

arate and complete account of the creation; and it has

not been prepared independently of ch. i., but is design-

edly supplementary to it.

     Chapter ii. has thus far been considered negatively,

and it has been shown what it is not.  It is not a second

account of the creation; and it has not been prepared in-

dependently of ch. i. and without regard to the contents

of that first chapter.  It is now in order to state posi-

tively what ch. ii. actually is.  It is evidently through-

out preliminary to ch. iii., the narrative of the fall.  In

order to make this intelligible it was necessary to ex-

plain (1), the two constituents of man's nature, his body

formed of the dust of the ground, and the breath of life

imparted directly by God himself (ver. 7).  It was neces-

sary that this should be known, that the reader might

comprehend on the one hand the potential immortality

set within his reach, and on the other the sentence ac-

tually incurred that dust must return to dust (iii. 19).

(2) The locality, which was the scene of the temptation

and fall, the garden of Eden, with its tree of life and the

tree of the knowledge of good and evil (vs.8-17).  (3)

The actors, Adam and Eve, in their superiority to the

rest of the creation, and their relation to each other (vs.

18-25).  These particulars could not have been incor-

porated in ch. i. without marring its symmetry.  That

deals with the creation of the world at large.  Every-

thing is on a universal scale.  And to introduce a de-

tailed description of the garden of Eden, with its arrange-

ments and man's position in it, would have been quite

inappropriate.  The plan and purpose of ch. i. made it



necessary to reserve this for the following section, and

it is accordingly given in ch. ii.

     It follows from what has been said that all compari-

sons made, or contrasts drawn, between ch. i. and ch. ii.

on the assumption that they are separate and indepen-

dent accounts of the same transaction are necessarily fal-

lacious.  In the one the scene embraces the whole world

with all that it contains.  In the other it is limited to the

garden of Eden, which is fitted up for the habitation of

the first human pair.  The first advances by a succession

of almighty fiats from the initial production of inanimate

matter to the culmination of the whole grand process in

the creation of man in the image of God.  The second

deals exclusively with the primitive state of man, which

is minutely explained with a special view to the tempta-

tion and fall; all is on the plane of individual life and

moves steadily forward to that first transgression by

which man lost his original holiness and communion

with God.  The second chapter is thus in no sense par-

allel to the first, but is its natural sequel.  It is the suc-

ceeding scene in the sacred history, the next act; so to

speak, in the divine drama which is here transacting.  It

introduces the reader to a new and distinct stage in the

unfolding of that plan of God which it is the purpose of

the book of Genesis to record.

      With such marked differences in the design and the

contents of the two chapters, it follows, of course, that each

has a character of its own distinct from the other.  It is

very easy to set one over against the other and to point

out their distinctive qualities.  But the dissimilar feat-

ures, which so readily offer themselves to the observer,

result directly and necessarily from the diversity of the

subjects respectively treated in each, and require no as-

sumption of the idiosyncrasies of different writers or the

peculiarities of separate documents to account for them.

PRIMITIVE STATE OF MAN (CH. II. 4-III. 24)                17


      Thus, for example, if it be said with Dr. Harper (" He-

braica," vol. i., pp. 25-27) that ch. i. is " generic," dealing

with species and classes, and ch. ii. is "individual," how

could they be otherwise, considering their respective

themes?  One records the formation of the world as a

whole, and of the various orders of beings that are

in it; the other deals specifically with the first human


     If it be said that the first chapter is "systematic,"

"chronological," and "scientific," the reason is that the

nature of its subject brings these features into marked

prominence.  When the work of six successive days is

to be stated, each advancing upon the preceding by reg-

ular gradations, and together embracing all the various

ranks of created things, the subject itself prescribes the

mode of treatment adapted to it, which must be system-

atic, chronological, and scientific, if the theme proposed

is to be clearly and satisfactorily presented.  But why

should a writer who shows his capacity for the classifi-

cation of genera and species where his subject demands

it, lug in his scientific terms or methods where no such

classification is called for?  If he has pursued a chrono-

logical method in ch. i., where the subject divides itself

into successive periods, what is to hinder his adoption of

a topical method in chs. ii. and iii., where he groups the

various incidents and particulars with masterly skill, and

all leads as directly up to the catastrophe of the fall as

in ch. i. all marches steadily forward to the Sabbath-day

of rest?  There is as clear evidence of system in the

logical order of the narration in chs. ii. and iii. as in the

chronological order of ch. i.  And there is the same

graphic power and masterly presentation in the grand

and majestic tableaux of ch. i. as in the simple and

touching scenes so delicately depicted in chs. ii. and iii.

When it is said that ch. ii. is "picturesque and poet-



ical," it may "be said with equal propriety that ch. i. is

sublimely poetical.  The scenes are drawn in bold relief,

and stand as vividly before the reader as anything in the

chapters that follow; only the scenes themselves are of a

different description.  One gives the impression of im-

mensity and power and vast terrestrial changes; the

other of beauty and pathos and the development of per-

sonal character. Cannot the same writer handle diverse

themes?  And if he do, must he not be expected to treat

each in he way appropriate to itself ?

     It is claimed that ch. i. deals in "stereotyped"

phrases and is "verbose and repetitious," while the

style of chs. ii. and iii. is "free and flowing."  This

again is due to the nature of the subjects with which

they respectively deal.  Ch. i. is monumental, conducted

on a scale of vastness and magnificence, and its charac-

ters are massive and unyielding as if carved in granite. 

Chs. ii. and iii. deal with plastic forms of quiet beauty,

the charms of paradise, the fateful experiences of Adam

and Eve.  In the onward progress of creation all is con-

ducted by the word of omnipotence, to which the result

precisely corresponds.  To mark this correspondence in

the most emphatic manner, the command is issued in

explicit terms; and the answering result, which exactly

matches it, is described in identical language.  There are,

besides, certain constant and abiding features, which

characterize the creative work from first to last, and

which abide the same in the midst of all the majestic

changes which are going forward.  There is the regu-

lar recurrence of each creative day, of the daily putting

forth of almighty power, of God's approval of his work

which perfectly represents the divine idea, the name

given to indicate its character, the blessing bestowed to

enable it to accomplish its end.  To mark all this in the

most emphatic manner, the identical phrases are re-

PRIMITIVE STATE OF MAN (CH. II. 4-III. 24)                19


peated throughout from first to last.  The solemn and

impressive monotone, which thus runs through the

whole, heightens the grandeur of the description, and is

suggestive of that divine serenity which steadily and un-

deviatingly moves onward in its appointed course, while

the ponderous periods aptly befit the massive objects

with which they deal.  There is no call for such a style

in simple narrative like ch. ii., where it would be utterly

out of place and stilted in the extreme.  That the char-

acteristics which have been referred to are due to the

subject of ch. i., and not to some imaginary peculiarity

of the writer, is plain, even if the critical partition of

Genesis were accepted.  For the narratives, which the

critics assign to the same document as ch. i., differ as

widely from it as ch. ii. does.

      In like manner Dr. Dillmann urges, in proof of a di-

versity of writers, that the author of ch. i. "restricts

himself to the great facts without entering in an explan-

atory way into particular details," and that he uses "a

ceremonious, solemn, formal style of writing," as dis-

tinguished from the "evenness" of chs. ii. and iii.  This

is sufficiently answered in what has been already said. 

The difference arises from the nature of the subject, not

from the habit of the writer. As Dr. Dillmann himself

justly says:  "The author in writing was fully conscious

of the unique loftiness of his subject; there is not a

word too much, yet all is clear and well defined; no-

where is there anything artificial and far-fetched; only

once in an appropriate place he allows himself to rise to

elevated poetic speech (ver. 27); even the expressions

savoring of a remote antiquity, which he here and there

employs (vs. 2, 24), have evidently come down to him

with the matter from the olden time, and serve admi-

rably to enhance the impression of exalted dignity."

      It is said that ch. i. proceeds from the lower to the



higher, ending with man; while, on the contrary, ch. ii.

begins with the highest, viz., with man, and proceeds to

the lower forms of life.  But as ch. ii. continues the his-

tory begun in ch. i., it naturally starts where ch. i. ends,

that is to say, with the creation of man, especially as the

whole object of the chapter is to depict his primitive


      These various contrasts between ch. i. and ii. explain

themselves at once, as has now been shown from the di-

versity of theme.  They could only be supposed to lend

support to the critical hypothesis of different documents

on the false assumption that the theme of both chapters

was the same.




     While each of these chapters pursues consistently and

steadily its own proper aim, they have certain points of

contact, in which it is to be remarked that the second

chapter supplements the first, but there is no discrep-

ancy between them.  In fact it is as inconsistent with the

document hypothesis as it is with that of unity of

authorship to suppose that we have here two divergent

stories of the creation.  The redactor does not place

them side by side, as two varying accounts, which he

makes no attempt to reconcile, but lays before his read-

ers precisely as he found them.  There is no intimation

that they are alternatives, one or the other of which may

be accepted at pleasure.  On the contrary, chs. i. and ii.

are recorded as equally true and to be credited alike.

The inference cannot reasonably be avoided that the re-

dactor, if there was one, saw no inconsistency in these

narratives.  Elsewhere the critics tell us he has corrected

divergent accounts into harmony.  He could have seen

no need of correction here, for he has made none.  The

PRIMITIVE STATE OF MAN (CH. II. 4-III. 24)                21


case is supposable indeed that some minute and subtle

inconsistency may have escaped his notice.  But there

can be no open or glaring inconsistency, or he would

have detected and removed it, or at least remarked upon

it.  To suppose otherwise is to charge him with defi-

ciency in ordinary intelligence.

     The first chapter continues the narrative of the crea-

tion until the crowning-piece was put upon the work by

making man in the image of God, and giving him, as

God's vicegerent, dominion over all in this lower world. 

To prepare the way for the history of the temptation and

fall, which comes next in order, it was needful to give

further particulars respecting man's primitive condition,

which it would have been incongruous to include in the

general account of the creation of the world in ch. i. 

These are accordingly supplied in ch. ii.

     One of these particulars is his location in the garden

of Eden.  In order to lead up in a simple and natural

way to the description of this garden, the writer reminds

his readers, in precise conformity with ch. i., that when

heaven and earth were first made the latter contained

nothing for the subsistence of man.  Ch. ii. 4, 5 should be

rendered, "In the day that Jehovah God made earth and

heaven no bush of the field was yet in the earth, and no

herb of the field had yet sprung up."  There was neither

bush nor herb to serve man for food.  The threefold

classification of i. 11, 12--grass, herb, and tree--is not

repeated here, for grass was the food of beasts, and there-

fore not to the purpose.  "Bush" is used rather than

"tree," to make the negative stronger.  There was not

only no tree, there was not even a bush.  Subsequently

trees (ii. 9) and herbs (iii. 18) are named, as the plants

yielding food for human use, just as in i. 29.

     The suggestion that in ch. i. both trees and herbs are

assigned to man as his food from the beginning, while in



chs. ii.,  iii. he eats the fruit of trees in Eden, and is

condemned to eat herbs after his fall (iii. 18), overlooks

the real point of contrast, which is not between trees and

herbs, but between the trees of the garden and the herb

of the field, between the tillage of paradise and gaining

his bread by the sweat of his face from a reluctant soil

bringing forth thistles and thorns.  Only trees are ex-

pressly spoken of in Eden, because one tree was the test

of obedience, and another the pledge of immortal life;

but there is no more reason for denying the existence of

esculent herbs in paradise than for assuming that there

were no fruit-trees outside of it.

      The form of expression, "In the day that Jehovah

God made earth and heaven," has given occasion to cavil,

as though that was here assigned to one day, which ch. i.

divides between the second and third creative days.  It

might as well be said that Num. iii. 1, "In the day that

Jehovah spake unto Moses in Mount Sinai " implies that

all the revelations given to Moses at Sinai were made

within the compass of a single day; or that " the day of

adversity "means a period of twenty-four hours.  The

use of "day," in the general sense of "time" is too fa-

miliar to require further comment.

      The reason given for the absence of food-bearing

plants is twofold; there was no rain to moisten the

earth, and no man to till the ground.1  There is no vari-

ance, here with ch. i.  The suggestion that if the land

had just emerged from the water, rain would not be

     1 My friend, Dr. C. M. Mead, of Hartford Theological Seminary,

in casual conversation on this subject suggested what, if my memory

serves me, was also maintained by Ebrard in a little tract on Natural

Science and the Bible, issued several years since, that the last clause

of ii. 5 is not connected with that which immediately precedes.

"There was no plant (for there had been no rain), and there was no

man."  Upon this construction there is not even the semblance of an

intimation that man existed before plants.

PRIMITIVE STATE OF MAN (CH. II. 4-III. 24)                23


needed, leaves out of view that according to i. 9, 10, the

separation of land and water was complete, and the earth

was dry land, before any plants appeared upon its sur-

face.  A well-watered garden with ever-flowing streams

was to be the abode of man; in anticipation of this it

was natural to refer to the need of rain.  And there is

no implication that man was made prior to the existence

of vegetation, contrary to i. 12, 27.  For

     1. Ch. ii. alleges nothing respecting the relative prior-

ity of man or plants.  It does not deal with the general

vegetation of the globe any further than to carry us back

to a time when it did not exist.  Of its actual production

ch. ii. says nothing.  Its positive statement is restricted

to the trees of the garden of Eden (vs. 8, 9), and we are

nowhere informed that these were brought into being at

the same time with vegetation elsewhere.  Nothing is

said of the origin of grass and herbs, or of trees, outside

of Eden, except in ch. i.  Dr. Dillmann admits this.  He

says:  "One would expect that in what follows, either

before or after ver. 7, mention should be made of the

production of the vegetable world, and completing the

formation of the world itself.  But there is nothing of

the sort.  There can hardly have been such a gap orig-

inally; it rather appears that something has been omitted

by R, either because it seemed a needless repetition after

ch. i., or disagreed with ch. i."  The passage does not ful-

fil the critics' expectation, for the simple reason that the

writer had no such intention as they impute to him.  He

is not giving another account of the creation.  He is

merely going to speak of the garden of Eden; and that

is all he does.

     2. The existence of man is stated to be a condition of

that of plants designed for human use, not as an ante-

cedent but as a concomitant.  His tillage is requisite (ii.

5), not to their production but to their subsequent care



and cultivation.  Jehovah planted the garden and made

the trees grow in it, and then set man to till it, ver. 15,

where the same verb is used as in ver. 5.

     3.  The order of statement is plainly not that of time,

but of association in thought.  Ver. 7, man is formed;

ver. 8, the garden is planted and man put in it; ver. 9,

trees are made to spring up there; ver. 15, man is taken

and put in it.  We cannot suppose the writer's meaning

to be that man was made before there was any place in

which to put him, and that he was kept in suspense until

the garden was planted; that he was then put there be-

fore the trees that were to supply him with food had

sprung up; and that after the trees were in readiness he

was put there a second time.  It is easy to deduce the

most preposterous conclusions from a writer's words by

imputing to them a sense which he never intended.  In

order to pave the way for an account of the primitive

paradise, he had spoken of the earth as originally desti-

tute of any plants on which man might subsist, the ex-

istence of such plants being conditioned on that of man

himself.  This naturally leads him to speak, first, of the

formation of man (ver. 7); then of the garden in which

he was put (ver. 8).  A more particular description of the

garden is then given (vs.9-14), and the narrative is again

resumed by repeating that man was placed there (ver. 15).

As there was plainly no intention to note the strict

chronological succession of events, it cannot in fairness

be inferred from the order of the narrative that man was

made prior to the trees and plants of Eden, much less

      1The critics' assumption that vs. 10-15 is an interpolation, inasmuch

as the description of the garden is a departure from strict narrative

which is afterward resumed, as well as Budde's notion (Biblische Ur-

geschichte, pp. 48 sqq.) that the tree of life is to be erased from ver. 9

and elsewhere, as not belonging to the narrative originally, deserve

notice only as illustrating the perfectly arbitrary standard of genuine-

ness which is set up.

PRIMITIVE STATE OF MAN (CH. II. 4-III. 24)                25


that he preceded those of the world at large, of which

nothing is here said.

      But what cannot be accomplished by the order of the

narrative some critics propose to effect by means of a

grammatical construction.  They put vs. 5, 6, in a paren-

thesis, and link ver. 4 directly to ver. 7, and read thus: 

Ver.4, In the day that Jehovah God made the earth and

the heavens (ver. 5, Now no bush of the field was yet in

the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up;

for Jehovah God had not caused it to rain upon the earth,

and there was not a man to till the ground.  Ver. 6, And

there went up vapor from the earth, and watered the

whole face of the ground).  Ver. 7, Then Jehovah God

formed man, etc.  The meaning will then be:  "In the day

that Jehovah God made earth and heaven, Jehovah God

formed man of the dust of the ground, while no bush of

the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field

had yet sprung up."  But apart from the fact that the

assumption of so long a parenthesis is of very doubtful

propriety in Hebrew construction generally, it is abso-

lutely impossible here.  Ver. 5 states a twofold reason

why there were no plants adapted to human use; there

had been no rain and there was no man to use them.

The first of these conditions is supplied in ver. 6, vapor

rises, and falling in rain waters the ground; the second, in

ver. 7, man is made; vs. 6 and 7 must accordingly

stand in like relation to ver. 5, so that ver. 6 cannot be

included in the parenthesis and ver. 7 be linked back to

ver. 4.

     Furthermore, ch. ii. does not contradict ch. i. in re-

spect to the order of the creation of man and of the

lower animals.  The allegation that it does rests upon the

assumption that the Hebrew tense here used necessarily

implies a sequence in the order of time, which is not

correct.  The record is (ver. 19), "And out of the ground



Jehovah God formed all the beasts of the field, and all

the fowls of heaven, and brought them to Adam."  Ac-

cording to Hebrew usage this need not mean that the

formation of the birds and the beasts was subsequent to

all that is previously recorded in the chapter, or that they

were then first formed with the view of providing a suit-

able companion for Adam.  And when the scope of the

passage is duly considered it will be seen that this can-

not be its meaning.

      It is a significant fact that Dr. Delitzsch, who is an

adherent of the document hypothesis, and can be sus-

pected of no bias against it, and who in all the former

editions of his "Commentary on Genesis" found ch. i.

and ch. ii at variance on this point, in the, last edition,

embodying his most matured views, affirms that there is

no discrepancy whatever, that "et formavit . . . et

adduxit == et cum form asset adduxit," and that this is

both possible in point of style and consonant to the

mode of writing in the Bible history.

     The English rendering which best suggests the rela-

tion of the clauses is, "Jehovah God having formed out

of the ground every beast of the field, and every fowl of

heaven, brought them unto the man."  The Hebrew

phrase suggests that forming the animals preceded their

being brought to the man, but need not suggest anything

whatever as to the relation of time between their forma-

tion and what had been mentioned just before in the nar-

rative.  In numberless passages in the English version

of the Bible similar expressions are paraphrased in order

to express this subordination of the first verb to the

second.  Thus in Gen. iii. 6 the Hebrew reads, "And

the woman saw that the tree was good for food, . . .

and she took of the fruit thereof," for which the English

version correctly substitutes,  "And when the woman saw

. . . she took."  It might with equal propriety be

PRIMITIVE STATE OF MAN (CH. ii. 4-III. 24)                27


rendered, "The woman seeing that the tree was good for

food . . . took of the fruit thereof. "

     Dr. Dillmann admits that the tense here used might

antedate what immediately precedes, but insists that ver.

18,  "I will make him an help meet for him," implies that

the animals were now made as well as brought to Adam.

But to suppose that the beasts and birds were made in

execution of this divine purpose is not only a grotesque

conception in itself, but involves the incongruity that the

LORD'S first attempts were failures.  If there are critics

who account this "the natural interpretation," it is in

the face of the whole Israelitish conception of God as

expressed by every writer in the Old Testament.  Ob-

serve that God's original purpose, as here announced, is

not I will make him a companion of some sort, or such a

companion as he may be willing to have, but I will make

him an help meet for him, or, more exactly rendered, a

help corresponding to him, a precise counterpart to him-

self.  The beasts were brought to Adam not as the com-

panion intended for him, but "to see what he would call

them," i.e., to let them make their impression on him and

thus awaken in his mind a sense both of his need of com-

panionship and of their unfitness for the purpose.  When

this had been accomplished Eve was made.  The ani-

mals are here regarded simply with a view to this end.

If the writer were describing the creation of the inferior

animals as such, he would speak of all the orders of liv-

ing things, not neglecting reptiles and aquatic animals.

     The LORD made the birds and beasts and brought them

to Adam.  The main point is that they were brought to

Adam.  It was of no consequence, so far as the imme-

diate purpose of the narrative is concerned, when they

were made, whether before Adam or after, and the mere

order of statement cannot in fairness be pressed as

though it determined the order of time in this particu-



lar.  If, however, this is insisted upon, and we are told

that according to the "natural interpretation" of this

passage it teaches that the birds and beasts were not

made until after Adam, then it must be said that the

same sort of "natural interpretation" will create absurd-

ities and contradictions in many other passages beside.

Thus in Gen. xxiv. 64, 65, "Rebekah saw Isaac and light-

ed off the camel, and she said to the servant, What man

is this, and the servant said, It is my master."  Here, if

the order of statement is made the order of time, Re-

bekah alighted, out of respect to her future husband, be-

fore she had inquired and learned who the man was that

she saw.  So Ex. iv. 31, "And the people believed and

they heard, . . . and they bowed their heads and wor-

shipped."  According to this the people believed the

words of Moses and Aaron before they heard them.  It

is said of the men sent by Joshua to spy out Jericho

(Josh. ii. 22),  "They came unto the mountain and abode

there three days until the pursuers were returned; and

the pursuers sought them and found them not."  From

which it appears that the pursuers returned from their

unsuccessful search before their search was begun.  The

old prophet in Bethel asked his sons about the man of God

who came from Judah (I Kin. xiii. 12), "What way

went he?  And his sons saw what way the man of God

went."  Here "saw" is plainly equivalent to "had seen,"

since the man had left some time before. Isa. xxxvii.

2-5, Hezekiah sent Eliakim and others to Isaiah, and

they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah so and so:

and the servants of Hezekiah came to Isaiah and Isaiah

said unto them, etc.  That is, they told Isaiah what they

had been bidden to say before they came to him.  Deut.

xxxi. 9,  "And Moses wrote this law and delivered it

unto the priests," i. e., he delivered to them the law

which he had written; the delivery of the law was subse-

PRIMITIVE STATE OF MAN (CH. II. 4-III. 24)               29


quent to the address to Joshua (vers. 7, 8), but not the

writing of it.

      Now, any candid man may judge whether declining to

accept a principle of interpretation which leads to such

absurd results can be called wresting Scripture from its

natural sense?  If not, then no suspicion of wresting

Scripture language can possibly attach to the assertion

that there is not a shadow of contrariety between ch. i.

and ch. ii. in respect to the order of creation.

      It is clear that the alleged inconsistencies do not exist

in the record but are of the critics' own making.  It is

surprising that they do not see that in their eagerness to

create discrepancies in evidence of a diversity of writers

they are cutting away the ground beneath their own

feet.  Glaring discrepancies might consist with the frag-

mentary but not with the documentary hypothesis.  The

manner in which these documents are supposed to be

woven together demands a high degree of skill and intel-

ligence in the redactor; and to allege at the same time

that "he did not have insight sufficient to enable him to

see that he was all the time committing grave blunders"

is self-contradictory.

      In the diction of these chapters Dillmann notes the

following words and phrases as indicative of J :

     1. hWAfA make or rcayA form, instead of xrABA create, as in ch. i.

But "make" is used ten times in the first section, and of

the same things as "create," cf. i. 1 with vs. 7, 8; i. 26

with ver. 27; i.21 with ver. 25, ii. 3.  In ch. i. the promi-

nent thought is that of the immediate exercise of divine

almighty power, hence, ver. 1, "God created the heaven

and the earth;" ver. 21, "created whales and winged fowl;"

ver. 27, "created man," so v. i. 2; "all which God created"

ii. 3; and these are all the P passages in which the word

occurs.  Ch. ii. directs attention to the material, of which

the bodies were composed; hence, ver. 7, "formed man



of dust;" ver. 19, "formed beasts out of the ground."  In

Isa. xliii. 1; xlv. 7, 12, 18, "create," "form," and "make "

are used together, and in the same sentence, of God's

creative agency.  "Form" occurs nowhere in the Hexa-

teuch except in this chapter; in the only other instance

in which the creation of man is alluded to in a paragraph

assigned to J, Gen. vi. 7 the word "create" is used; it

likewise occurs in Ex. xxxiv. 10; Num. xvi. 30 J.  And if

the absence of "form" from the rest of J has no signifi-

cance, why is there any in its absence from P?

     2. hd,W.Aha tY.aHa beast of the field (ii.19, 20; iii. 1, 14) instead

of Cr,xAhA ty>aHa beast of the earth, as i. 24, 25; also hd,W.Aha HayWi

bush of the field (ii. 5),  hc,W.Ah  bW,fe herb of the field (ii. 5; iii.

18).  The open field is here in tacit contrast with the en-

closed and cultivated garden; cr. iii. 18.  "Beast of the

field" is the ordinary phrase throughout the Bible.  But

when terrestrial are contrasted with aquatic animals

(i. 21, 22), and especially when the whole broad earth

is spoken of, they are naturally called "beasts of the earth."

     3.  MraPaha  this time, now (ii. 23).  See chs. xviii., xix.

Marks of J, No.9.

     4. rIbfEBa because (iii. 17).  See chs. vi.-ix., Marks of J,

No. 17.

      5. yTil;bil; not to (iii. 11).  See chs. xvii., xix., Marks of

J, No. 14.

      6. txz.o hma what is this (iii. 13).  See ch. xii. 10-22,

Marks of J, No.7.

      7.  NObc,Afi  sorrow, toil (iii 16, 17); it occurs but once

besides in the Old Testament (v. 29), and with express

allusion to this passage.

      8. wreGe drive out (iii. 24).  See ch. xxi. 1-21, Marks of

E, No.5.

      9.  lOql; fmawA hearken unto the voice (iii. 17). See ch.

xvi., Marks of J, No. 8.

PRIMITIVE STATE OF MAN (CH. II. 4-III. 24)                31


     10. hBAr;hi hBAr;ha greatly multiply (iii. 16).  See ch. xvi.,

Marks of J, No. 10.

    Jehovah is distinctively the God of revelation and of

redemption; hence in this section, where God's grace to

man is the prominent thought, his care and favor be-

stowed upon him in his original estate, the primal prom-

ise of mercy after the fall, and the goodness mingled with

severity which marked the whole ordering of his condi-

tion subsequently, that salutary course of discipline which

was instituted with a view to gracious ends, Jehovah is

appropriately used.  At the same time, to make it plain

that Jehovah is not a different or inferior deity, but that

the God of grace is one with God the Creator, Jehovah

Elohim are here combined.  In the interview of Eve with

the serpent (iii. 1-5), however, Elohim is used, as is cus-

tomary when aliens speak or are spoken to.  This shows

that these names are used discriminatingly, and that the

employment of one or the other is regulated not by the

mere habit of different writers, but by their suitableness

to the subject-matter.

      It is alleged that a different conception of God is pre-

sented in this section from that which is found in the

preceding.  "Jehovah forms men and beasts, breathes the

breath of life into man's nostrils, builds a rib into a woman,

plants a garden, takes a man and puts him into it, brings

the beasts to the man, walks in the cool of the day, speaks

(iii. 22) as though he were jealous of the man."  But as

Elohim and Jehovah are words of different signification

and represent the Most High under different aspects of

his being, they must when used correctly and with regard

to their proper meaning be associated with different con-

ceptions of God, This does not argue a diversity of

writers, but simply that the divine name has each time

been selected in accordance with the idea to be expressed,

     Elohim is the more general designation of God as the



Creator and providential Governor of the world and of

all mankind.  Jehovah is his personal name, and that by

which he has made himself known when entering into

close relations with men, and particularly the chosen race,

as the God of revelation and grace.  The intimacy thus

established between the Creator and the creature involves

a condescension to man and placing himself in accord

with man, which requires anthropomorphisms for its ex-

pression and can be made intelligible in no other way. 

There is not the slightest inconsistency between the an-

thropomorphisms of chs. ii., iii., and the lofty conceptions

of ch. i., and no ground whatever for assuming that they

are the ideas of distinct writers.  They abound alike in the

Prophets and in the Psalms, where they are freely in-

termingled in their devout utterances.  With one breath

the Psalmist speaks of God as knowing the secrets of the

heart (xliv. 22), and with the next calls upon him, "Awake,

why sleepest thou?" (ver. 24).  Ps. cxxxix. links with the

most exalted description in human language of the omni-

presence and omniscience of the infinite God the prayer,

(ver. 23), "Search me and know my heart," as though it

was necessary for the Most High to make a careful in-

vestigation in order to ascertain what is hidden there.

     It should be observed further that the preceding sec-

tion, with all its grandeur and simplicity, has its anthro-

pomorphisms likewise.  Each creative fiat is uttered

in human language (i. 3, 6 sqq.).  God "called the light

MOy" (i. 5), giving Hebrew names to that and various other

objects.  He "saw the light that it was good" (i. 4), thus

inspecting the work of each day and pronouncing upon

its quality.  He uttered a formula of blessing upon the

various orders of living things (i. 22, 28).  He deliberated

with himself prior to the creation of man (i. 26).  Man

was made "in the image of God," an expression which

has been wrested to imply a material form.  Time was

PRIMITIVE STATE OF MAN (CH. II. 4-III. 24)                33


spent upon the work, and this was divided into six suc-

cessive days, like so many working periods of men.

When the work ,vas done, God rested on the seventh

day (ii. 2); and thus the week was completed, another

human measure of time.  All this is anthropomorphic.

He who would speak intelligibly to finite comprehension

of the infinite God must use anthropomorphisms.  The

difference is not of kind, but of degree.




      The inter-relation between these sections is such as to

show that they cannot be, as the critics claim, from sep-

arate and independent documents.

    1.  The distribution of the matter gives evidence of pre-

arrangement and cannot be purely accidental.  The crea-

tion of the world, heaven, earth, and sea, with all that

they contain, is described in ch. i., and is assumed in ch.

ii.  The latter simply gives details, which were necessa-

rily passed over in the plan of the former, respecting the

separate formation of man and woman and fitting up the

garden for their habitation.  Ch. ii. 19 is the only ap-

parent exception to the specific and limited character of

this section.  But even this is no real exception, since it

is obvious, as has already been shown, that the formation

of the beasts and birds is only incidentally mentioned as

subordinate to the principal statement, and the one of

chief importance in the connection that God brought

them to Adam to receive their names.  Again, God gave

names to certain things in ch. i.; Adam gave names to

others in chs. ii., iii.; and these are precisely adjusted to

one another, neither duplicating nor omitting any.  God

gave names to day and night, heaven, earth, and seas (i.

5, 8, 10), and to Adam (v. 1).  Adam gave names to the

inferior animals (ii. 20), and to Eve (ii. 23 ; iii. 20).



     2.  The title ii. 4a has been shown to belong to this

section, and contains explicit reference to the preceding

of which this is declared to be the sequel.  And in the

body of the section there are numerous allusions to, or

coincidences with, the preceding or other so-called P sec-

tions.  If the construction of i. 1 adopted by Dillmann

be correct, there is a striking similarity in structure be-

tween i. 1, 2 P, and ii.. 4b, 5 J, "in the beginning when

God created, etc., the earth was waste and void," corre-

sponding to " in the day that Jehovah God made, etc., no

bush of the field was yet in the earth." J ii. 4b strikingly

resembles P v. 1b in the form of expression; so do i. 4a

P and vi. 2a J; i. 31a, vi. 12a P and viii.13b J;  Cr,x, earth,

without the article, i. 24 P, as ii. 4 J.  The paronomasia

UhbovA UhTo (i.2), Ubr;U UrP; (i. 22,28) P recalls in J MdAxA . . .

hmAdAxE (ii. 7), wyxi... hw>Axi (ver. 23), dnAvA fnA (iv.14), rp,xevA rpAfA

(xviii. 27).  The first person plural used of God (i. 26

P), notwithstanding the strictness of Hebrew monotheism

has its counterpart in J, iii. 22; xi. 7.  The use of  hWAfA

made (iii. 1 J) in reference to the beasts, instead of rcayA

formed, as ii. 19 J, is a reminiscence of i. 25 P. XXXXX

cherubim (iii. 24 J) occurs in the Pentateuch besides only

in P.

     3.  The repeated occurrence of Jehovah Elohim

throughout chs. ii., iii. is with evident reference to ch. i.

This combination of divine names occurs nowhere else

with such regularity and frequency, though it is found

in a few other passages, e.g., Ex. n. 30; 2 Sam. vii. 22,

25; 1 Chron. xvii. 16, 17; Jon. iv. 6; cf. 1 Sam. vi. 20. 

This relieves it from.  Dr. Harper's charge1 of being "an

un-Hebraic expression," and refutes the notion of Hup-

feld2 that it is adopted here without reference to ch. i.,

because as the full name of God it was appropriate to

the state of paradise; from which there was a descent to

     1 Hebraica, vol. i., p. 23.    2 Quellen der Genesis, p. 124.

PRIMITIVE STATE OF MAN (CH. II. 4-III. 24)              35


Jehovah alone after the fall; that of Reuss1 that it is

indicative of a special document distinct from both P

and J, and that of Budde2 that it arose from the com-

bination of two documents, one of which used the name

Jehovah and the other Elohim.  In every other passage,

in which it is found, it denotes that Jehovah the God of

Israel is likewise Elohim the God of the universe.  It

must have the same meaning here; it can only be in-

tended to suggest that Jehovah, now first introduced, is

identical with Elohim before spoken of in ch. i.  This

is admitted by the critics generally, who seek, however, to

evade the natural inference of the common authorship of

both sections by the assumption, which has no other

basis than the hypothesis that it is adduced to support,

that Elohim was inserted by R.

     And while it is plain that chs. ii., iii. is thus adjusted to

ch. i., it is no less clear that i. 1-ii. 3 anticipates what is

to follow, and purposely prepares the way for it.

      1.  The emphasis with which it is repeated at the close

of each creative act, "and God saw that it was good" (i.

4, 10, 12, etc.), and affirmed at the end of the whole, "be-

hold, it was very good" (ver. 31), would be unmeaning

except as a designed preliminary to the reverse which

was shortly to follow in the fall (ch. iii.).  And this,

moreover, is necessary to explain the otherwise unac-

countable declaration (vi. 11 P), that "the earth was cor-

rupt before God," the mystery of which is unrelieved by

anything that P contains.

     2. Ch. ii. 3 is evidently preliminary to the fourth com-

mandment (Ex. xx. 8-11), which again in its terms dis-

tinctly refers back to i. l-ii. 3.  The ten commandments

in Ex. xx. are by the critics referred to E, with which,

according to Dillmann, J was acquainted.  He must,

1 Geschichte der heiligen Schriften d. A. T., p. 257.

2 Biblische Urgeschichte, pp. 233, 234.



therefore, have known and believed that the world was

created in six days, and can have written nothing in

Gen. ii.,  iii. inconsistent with this belief.  This can only

be evaded by alleging that the commandments are not

preserved in Ex. xx. in their genuine original form.  Dill-

mann disputes Ex. xx. 11, because a different reason is

given for observing the Sabbath in Deut. v. 15.  But Ex.

xx. is the authentic transcript, while Deut. v. is a repro-

duction with hortatory modifications.  This Dillmanna

admits in other instances; but Delitzsch very properly

contends that this is no exception.  The rejection of the

verse is simply the usual device of the critics for dispos-

ing of whatever contravenes their hypothesis.  Instead

of adapting their hypothesis to the phenomena presented

by the text, they insist upon remodelling the text into

accordance with their hypothesis.  The advantage of

this method is that the critic can thus triumphantly es-

tablish whatever be sets out to prove.




     It is said that vs. 17-24 is at variance with the rest of

the chapter, and with the J document generally in re-

spect both to the life of Cain and the fact of the deluge.

It is hence claimed that extracts from separate documents

have here been combined.

      While Cain is represented in vs. 11, 14, as condemned

for the murder of his brother to be a fugitive and a wan-

derer in the earth, it is affirmed that, according to ver. 17,

he led a settled life and built a city.  But (1) it then re-

mains to be accounted for, if these stories are in such

direct antagonism, that R could have put them to-

gether without explanation or remark, as though he per-

ceived no conflict between them and had no idea that his

readers would suspect any.  (2) The fact is that Cain was

CAIN AND ABEL (CH. IV.)                             37


expelled from the seat of God's presence, the society of

man, and cultivated land, to the wild steppes of the land

of Nod (so called from  dnA wanderer, in his sentence),

equivalent to the nomad region.  The Hebrew word for

city is in usage broad enough to cover a nomadic encamp-

ment (Num. xiii. 19; 2 Kin. xvii. 9).  The dread lest his

murder might be avenged (ver. 14), betrayed itself afresh

in his constructing such a defence for himself and his

family, which subsequently may have grown from these

small beginnings1 into much larger proportions.  The

builders of the first huts on the site of Chicago may be

said to have laid the foundations of the city.  (3) Cain

had previously been a "tiller of the ground."  That he

continued to be an agriculturist is certainly not stated in

the text and is in fact inconsistent with it.  The arts de-

veloped by his descendants are those of nomads, viz.,

pasturage, music, and metallurgy, but not the cultivation

of the soil.  Jabal was "the father of such as dwell in

tents and have cattle," in a very different sense from that

in which Abel was a "keeper of sheep" at his paternal

home.  (4) The explicit reference in iv. 24, where Lamech

speaks of Cain being avenged sevenfold, to the pledge

which the LORD had given him in ver. 15, shows very

plainly that both belong to the same continuous narra-

tive.  Dillmann can find no escape from this but either

by putting the cart before the horse and supposing the

allusion to be the other way, and that ver. 15 was shaped

into conformity with ver. 24, or else by ejecting ver. 15a

from the text as an addition by R. Budde ("Biblische

Urgeschichte," pp. 184", 185) strangely imagines that the

language of Lamech gave rise to the story of Cain's


     1Observe the form of statement in the Hebrew, which is significant,

hn,bo yhiy;va "he was building a city," as a work in progress, not "he

built it," as though it were completed by him.



     A still more surprising inference from vs. 17-24 is that

the writer knew nothing of the interruption of human

history by the deluge.  This inference hangs by a very

slender thread.  As the invention of various arts is here

traced to the sons of Lamech in the line of Cain, the

conclusion is drawn that as the arts have been perpetu-

ated, so must the race have been that invented them;

which is an evident non sequitur.  As though an art in-

vented by one race of men could not be adopted by an-

other race, and the knowledge of it be kept alive though

the original inventors had passed away.  That the race

of Cain was extinct seems to be implied by the fact that

the genealogy breaks off as it does, without being con-

tinued, like every other genealogy in Genesis, to tribes or

persons existing in the writer's own day.  Wellhausen in-

trepidly suggests that Cain is a collective name for the

Kenites, as in Num. xxiv. 22, who are thus traced up to

the origin of mankind; a piece of historical criticism akin

to that which finds an allusion to South America in "the

gold of Parvaim" (2 Chron. iii. 6), since Parvaim is the

dual of Peru.

     Wellhausen maintains that this section, in which the

arts of building cities, care of cattle, music, and metal-

lurgy are traced to the godless descendants of Cain is a

sequel to the narrative of the fall in chs. ii., iii., in which

the tree of knowledge bears forbidden fruit.  The com-

mon idea in both, he claims, is that knowledge is peril-

ous, and Jehovah jealously restrains man from its posses-

sion; advancing civilization betokens growing corruption.

These two sections, pervaded by this idea, he sunders

from the J of the rest of Genesis, and supposes that they

belong to some antecedent document, J', which J has here

incorporated in his own production.  Dillmann agrees

with him that the first half of ch. iv., containing the

story of Cain and Abel, is by a different writer from the

CAIN AND ABEL (CH. IV.)                             39


second half of the chapter, containing the account of

Cain's descendants; but insists that it is the former and

not the latter which is by the author of the narrative of

the fall and is its continuation.  And he points in evi-

dence of this to ver. 7b, which is repeated from iii. 16b;

the mention of Eden (ver. 16); the identity of aim, viz., to

trace the growth of sin, the beginning of which is de-

scribed in ch. iii., and the sameness of the diction as

shown in a number of words and expressions common

to vs. 1-16 and chs. ii., iii., as well as other passages re-

ferred to J.  On the other hand, Budde ("Biblische

Urgeschichte," pp. 220, 221) points out coincidences

in expression between vs. 17-24 and various J passages.

Whereupon Dillmann concludes that if any significance

is to be attached to, these coincidences, the author of chs.

ii., iii. may himself have introduced vs. 17-24 from its

original source into his own document, regardless of the

discrepancy in ver. 17, not so much with a view to the

invention of arts as the development of crime as shown

in Lamech's impious speech.  As it has already been

shown that there is no inconsistency between ver. 17 and

the preceding verses, the entire critical structure based on

that assumption collapses. Dillmann is right in link-

ing chs. ii., iii. with iv. 1-16, and Wellhausen in linking

those chapters with vs. 17-24.  And there is but one

author for the whole.




     Dillmann finds the following points in common between

chs. ii., iii., and the diction of vs. 1-16.

      1. hmAdAxE  ground (vs. 2, 3, 10, 12).  See ch. xxviii. 10-

22, Marks of J, No.4.

      2. hd,WA field (ver.8). See chs. ii., iii., Marks of J, No.2.

This word is by no means peculiar to J.  It occurs re-


peatedly also in P, e.g., xxiii. 9, 11, 13, 17, 19, 20, and

often elsewhere.

     3. hmAdAxEhA  dbafA till the ground (vs. 2, 12, as ii. 5; ill. 23).

As the phrase occurs nowhere else in the Hexateuch, its

absence from P sections is to be explained in the same

manner as its absence from all the rest of those that are

assigned to J.  No alignment for a diversity of documents

can be derived from it.

      4.  wreGe drive out (ver. 14, as ill. 24).  See ch. xxi. 1-21,

Marks of E, No.5.

      5.  yTil;bil; not to (ver. 15, as iii. 11).  See chs. xviii., xix.,

Marks of J, No. 14.

      6.  hTAxa rUrxA thou art cursed (ver. 11, as iii. 14).  This

verb is always referred either to J, E, or D, there being

no occasion for its employment in any of the passages as-

cribed to P.

     7.  The questions asked by the LORD (vs. 9, 10) are

similar to those in iii. 9, 13.  These various points of

similarity between vs. 1-16 and chs. ii., iii. create a strong

presumption that they are from the same writer, as Dill-

mann urges, but afford no proof that he is distinct from

the author of the passages referred to P.

      He also finds the following expressions in vs. 1-16,

which recur in J passages elsewhere:

     8.  JysiOh in the adverbial sense again (vs. 2,12).  This

is uniformly referred to J or E, except in Lev. xxvi. 18.

     9.  Ol hrAHA be angry (vs. 5, 6).  See chs. xviii., xix., Marks

of J, No. 30. 10.

     10. hp, hcAPA open the mouth (ver. 11).  This occurs but

twice besides in the Hexateuch (Num. xvi. 30, J; Deut.

xi. 6 D).

      Budde finds the following indications of J in vs. 17-


     11. dlayA  beget (ver. 18). See chs. vi.-ix., Marks of P, No.

20; also under ch. x.

CAIN AND ABEL (CH. IV.)                             41


     12.  xvhi MGa (ver. 22), she also.  See ch. xxii. 20-24,

Marks of J, No.3.

     13.  vyHixA Mwev; (ver. 21) and his brother's name, as x. 25.

These are the only two instances in the Hexateuch in

which a second son is introduced by this particular for-


      The divine names are appropriately used.  It is to Je-

hovah, who had given her the promise of offspring, that

Eve gratefully ascribes the bestowment of her first child

(ver. 1).  To Jehovah offerings are brought by Cain and

Abel (vs. 3, 4).  It is Jehovah, who condescendingly re-

monstrates with Cain and explains to him the defect in

his offering and how it may be remedied (vs. 6, 7).  It is

Jehovah again, the defender of his own people, who ar-

raigns Cain for his awful crime, and while sparing his

guilty life banishes him from his presence (vs. 9-16).  It

is Jehovah upon whose name the pious race of Seth and

Enosh devoutly call, iv. 26.

     It might at first sight appear surprising that Eve, who

had recognized the grace of Jehovah in the birth of Cain,

should speak of Seth as coming to her from Elohim (ver.

25).  But there is a reason for this.  The good gift of

God is set in contrast with the evil deed of man.  "Elo-

him hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel;

for Cain slew him."  It is to be observed that Elohim

here occurs in a J section; so that the critics themselves

must admit that it is discriminatingly used, and that there

is a special propriety in its employment.







     THOSE who insist upon regarding the entire antedilu-

vian history of the, Bible as mythical, and on a par with

the early myths of heathen nations, labor, though with

small success, to find ancient parallels to the genealogy

contained in this chapter.  The nearest approach to it is

the ten antediluvian kings of Chaldean story with reigns

on an average of 43,000 years each, as reported by Berosus.

Whether Lenormant is correct or not in giving them an as-

tronomical interpretation, their names plainly stand in

no relation to the names in this Scriptural list.  The

sole point of resemblance is in the number ten; and this

is vague enough.  Others have sought to find meanings

in the names mentioned in this chapter, which might

suggest the idea which lay at the basis of the genealogy

and account for its formation.  They are interpreted by

Boettcher1 as indicative of the successive stages by which

the human race advanced in civilization; by Ewald2 as

in part at least the names of various deities; and by

Knobel as representing the Western Asiatics, while the

descendants of Cain denote the Chinese and other popu-

lations of Eastern Asia.  It is evident, however, that in

the intent of the sacred historian it simply traces the line

of descent from Adam to Noah in the pious line of Seth.


     1Exegetisch-kritische Aehrenlese, pp. 4. 5.

    2Geschichte Israels, 2d edit., i., p. 357.

ADAM TO NOAH (CH. V.)                    43


Budde's inference from the names Jared (descent) and

Methuselah (man of weapon) that while the first five in

the line were good men, the last five, with the exception

of Enoch and Noah, were wicked, rests on purely fanci-

ful interpretations of the names.

       The longevity attributed to the antediluvians has been

declared to be inconsistent with physiological laws; but

in our ignorance of the extent to which the conditions

affecting human life may have been modified, such an as-

sertion is unwarranted.




      There is a remarkable similarity in the names of the

descendants of Seth in ch. v. and those of Cain, iv.17,

18, as shown in the following lists:

Adam                   Adam



Kenan                  Cain

Mahalalel            Enoch

Jared                    Irad

Enoch                  Mehujael

Methuselah          Methushael

Lamech                Lamech



     The six names in each column, beginning with Kenan

or Cain, are strikingly alike; and if Mahalalel be trans-

posed with Enoch, they will follow each other in the

same identical order.  It is natural to conclude that this

cannot be altogether casual.  Buttmann2 inferred that

these are variants of one and the same genealogy as pre-

served in two related but hostile tribes.  In its original

intent it enumerated the early ancestors of the human

     1Biblische Urgeschichte, p. 96.  2Mythologus, i., pp. 170-172.

44               THE GENERATIONS OF ADAM


race sprung from its first progenitor, who in one form of

the myth was called Adam and in the other Enosh, each

having the same signification (man).  The two were sub-

sequently harmonized by making Enosh the grandson of

Adam.  The names differed sufficiently for the race of

Seth to regard the Cainite tradition as distinct from

their own and descriptive of a godless race, and so Cain

was held to be the ancestor not of all mankind, but of

this hated tribe.

     The majority of critics accept this identification of the

two genealogies, and have drawn other consequences

from it.  Dillmann contended that the redactor has trans-

posed the story of Cain and Abel (iv. 1-16) from its true

position later in the history.  Cain was not the Son of

Adam, but belongs where Kenan stands in the geneal-

ogy (v. 9), with whom he is identical; or, as he has mod-

ified his opinion in the latest edition of his "Commen-

tary," Cain and. Abel were not the only sons of Adam, but

were born subsequent to Seth.  He thinks it strange

that the distinction between tillers of the ground and

keepers of sheep, and between bloody and unbloody offer-

ings, should be found in the first children of primeval

man; and that the advance from the first sin to fratri-

cide should be made so soon.  This only shows that his

opinion differs from that of the author of the narrative. 

He appeals also to the words of Cain (iv. 14), "Every

one that findeth me shall slay me," which imply a consid-

erable population; but he forgets how greatly the de-

scendants of Adam may have multiplied by the time that

he attained his one hundred and thirtieth year (v. 3, cf.

iv. 25).  Wellhausen goes so far as to identify Abel with

Jabal (iv. 20), "the father pf such as have cattle."  But--

     1. That Wellhausen's wild conjecture expressly contra-

dicts the statements of the history is obvious.  And it

requires not a little critical manipulation to carry through

ADAM TO NOAH (CH. V.)                              45


the hypothesis of Dillmann.  In iv. 25 the word "again,"

in the first clause, and the whole of the last clause after

the word fraz, seed, viz., "another instead of Abel, for Cain

slew him," must be thrown out of the text as an interpo-

lation by R.  The statement (iv. 1) that Cain was the son

of Adam and Eve must be gotten out of the way, if he is

to be made the same as Kenan the son of Enosh (v. 9). 

And R must have reversed the order of the statements in the  

chapter for no very intelligible reason.

     2.  The distinctness of these genealogies is expressly

affirmed.  That in iv. 17, 18, J, professes to record the

descendants of Cain after his murder of Abel and his re-

moval to the land of Nod, while that in ch. v., P, records

the descendants of Seth, a different son of Adam.  The

critics cannot consistently claim that this is merely a

variant representation by J and P of what is in fact the

same thing, but which R has erroneously set down as

two quite separate lines of descent.  For by their own

hypothesis J (iv. 25, 26) traces the line  "Adam, Seth,

Enosh" precisely as is done by P (v. 3-6); and v. 29 is

attributed to J as another fragment of the same line. 

From this the critics infer that the document J must have

contained a complete genealogy from Adam to Noah par-

allel to that of P, though the greater portion of it has

been omitted by R as superfluous repetition.  Now these

broken and scattered links of J utter the same voice with

the full record of P, that Noah and his father Lamech

were descended not from Cain but from Seth.  Both

these genealogies in substantially their present form

were, therefore, according to the critics contained in the

document of J, who in this followed the sources whence

he derived his history.  This is a confession that the

same writer can have recorded them both; consequently

their presence in the existing text of Genesis affords no

argument for critical partition.  The unity of Genesis is

46               THE GENERATIONS OF ADAM


not affected by the alleged conversion of one genealogy

into two, which on the critics' own theory must have oc-

curred, if at all, in the course of its oral transmission

prior to the writing of the book of Genesis, or even of

the document J, which is held to be one of its oldest


     And in regard to this it would appear that a sweeping

conclusion is drawn from very slender premises.  Sup-

pose that we are unable to account for the coincidence

of names, does it follow that the persons represented by

them never existed? Delitzsch directs attention to the fact

that but two names are the same in the entire series,

viz., Enoch and Lamech: and in both cases statements

are made which show that the persons are quite dis-

tinct.  The first of these names means initiation or con-

secration, and might very well be applied in the former

sense to the first son of Cain born in exile, as subse-

quently to the first-born of Reuben (Gen. xlvi. 9), and in

the latter sense to that holy man who walked with God

and was not, for God took him.  The meaning of the

name Lamech is unknown; but the identification of the

persons so called is forbidden by the speeches preserved

from them, which reflect totally diverse characters.  Cain

and Kenan, Irad and Jared are distinct not merely in

their form but in their radical letters and probable sig-

nification. So is the second and determining member in

the compound names Methushael and Methuselah.  Ma-

halalel, praise of God, which stands over against Mehu-

jael, smitten of God, may suggest that the descendants of

Cain have names with a bad meaning and those of Seth

have names with a good meaning.

     The meaning of most of these ancient names cannot

now be ascertained.  Several of them do not appear to

be Hebrew.  And it is doubtful whether even those

which simulate Hebrew forms may not be merely modi-

ADAM TO NOAH (CH. V.)                              47


fications of some unknown original to adapt them better

to the Hebrew ear.  It is not surprising if these parallel

lists of unintelligible names should undergo changes in

their transmission through long centuries, and if they

should, whether with or without design, be gradually con-

formed to one another.  The disposition to produce like-

sounding contrasts, as in Isa v. 7  FPAw;mi ... hPAW;mi,

hqAdAc; . . .  hqAfAc;, or by slight modifications as of Beel-

zebub into Beelzebul, or Shechem into Sychar, to give a

different turn to the meaning of words, may easily have

been operative.  The LXX. has two more names alike in

both lists than the Hebrew, which indicates a tendency

in such cases to come into a closer approximation in the

course of repeated transcription.  The Mohammedan

names for Cain and Abel are Kabil and Habil; see Sale's

Koran, note to ch. v. 30.




     Dillmann thinks that the composite character of the

book of Genesis is shown more plainly in the duplicate

mention of the birth of Seth and Enosh (iv. 25,26 ; v. 3-

6) than anywhere else.  Why should the same writer

thus repeat himself?  The supplementary critics, as Tuch,

held that J inserted iv. 25, 26, in order to effect the tran-

sition from the preceding account of Cain and his de-

scendants to that of the line of Seth.  The more recent

critics follow Hupfeld, who regarded these verses, as to-

gether with v. 29, the remnants of J's genealogy from

Adam to Noah parallel to that of P in ch. v.  R, while

omitting the greater portion as superfluous repetition, saw

fit to retain these three verses because of the additional

information which they convey.  He inserted v. 29 in

the body of P's genealogy, but preserved iv. 25, 26 dis-

tinct.  Now it is difficult to see why the same motive, be

48               THE GENERATIONS OF ADAM


it what it might, which could determine R not to blend

iv. 25, 26 with the corresponding verses of ch. v. as is

done with v. 29, might not be similarly influential with

the original writer.  Some reasons for such a separate

statement naturally offer themselves.

     1.  These closing verses of ch. iv. are necessary to the

proper understanding of ch. v.  While the insertion of those

statements in this chapter would have been confus-

ing and would have marred its symmetry, it was impor-

tant to set v. 3 in its true light in relation to iv. 1, 2. 

The critics say that they are contradictory, since they

infer from v. 3 that according to P Seth was the first

child of Adam.  But this is not necessarily implied any

more than Ex. ii. 1, 2 implies that Moses was the oldest

child of his parents, though ver. 4 declares the contrari-

not to speak of Ex. vii. 7.  To make the matter perfectly

plain to the reader, iv. 25 distinctly states that Seth was

born after the murder of Abel.  And then iv. 26  was

added to indicate the character of the godly race of Seth

in contrast with the ungodly race of Cain, and thus pre-

pare the way for the sparing of Noah and his house

when the rest of mankind perished in the flood.

     2.  Another reason for putting these statements at the

close of ch. iv. grows out of the original plan of the book

of Genesis and its division into successive sections each

in a manner complete in itself and introduced by its own

special title.  The section ii. 4---ch. iv. had recorded a

constant descent from bad to worse, the sin of our first

parents, their expulsion from paradise, the murder of

Abel, Cain's descendants reaching in Lamech the climax

of boastful and unrestrained violence.  That the section

might not be suffered to end in unrelieved gloom a

brighter outlook is added at the close, precisely as is

done at the end of the next section in vi. 8.  Seth is

substituted for Abel, whom Cain slew, and instead of

ADAM TO NOAH (CH. V.)                    49


piety perishing with murdered Abel it reaches a new de-

velopment in the days of Enosh.

     The whole arrangement bears evidence of adaptation

and careful thought, and is suggestive of one author, not

the combination of separate compositions prepared with

no reference to each other.

     A further indication of the same sort, implying the

original unity of these chapters, is their correspondence

with the general plan of Genesis in respect to genealo-

gies.  Uniformly the divergent lines are first traced be-

fore proceeding with the principal line of descent leading

to the chosen people.  In ch. x. the various nations of

mankind sprung from the three sons of Noah; then (xi.

10 sqq.) the line from Shem to Abram.  Nahor's descend-

ants (xxii. 20 sqq.), those of Keturah (xxv. 1 sqq.), and of

Ishmael (vs. 13 sqq.), before those of Isaac (vs. 19 sqq.).

Those of Esau (xxxvi. 1 sqq.) before those of Jacob

(xxxvii. 2 sqq.).  In like manner the degenerate and God-

forsaken race of Cain is traced (iv. 17 sqq.) before

proceeding with that of Seth (ch. v.).




     It should be remarked here that no computation

of time is ever built in the Bible upon this or any other

genealogy.  There is no summation of the years from

Adam to Noah, or from Noah to Abraham, as there is of

the abode in Egypt (Ex. xii. 40), or of the period from

the exodus to the building of the temple (l Kin. vi. 1).

And as the received chronologies and the generally ac-

cepted date of the flood and of the creation of the world

are derived from computations based on these genealo-

gies, it ought to be remembered that this is a very pre-

carious mode of reckoning.  This genealogy could only

afford a safe estimate of time on the assumption that no



links are missing and that every name in the line of descent

has been recorded.  But this we have no right to take

for granted.  The analogy of other biblical genealogies

is decidedly against it.  Very commonly unimportant

names are omitted; sometimes several consecutive names

are dropped together.  No one has a right, therefore, to

denominate a primeval chronology so constructed the

biblical chronology and set it in opposition to the de-

ductions of science, and thence conclude that there is a

conflict between the Bible and science.  See the article

on this subject in the Bibliotheca Sacra for April, 1890.




     Dillmann finds the following indications of P in this


     1.  The back reference from -vs. 1-3 to i. 26-28.  But

it is linked to the same extent and in precisely the same

manner with J sections.  The genealogy is traced (ver.

32) to Noah and his three sons, all of whom are similarly

named in ix. 18 J; ver. 29 refers back to iii. 17 J.  The

critics say that ver. 29 is an insertion by R.  They say

so because their hypothesis requires it and for no other

reason.  It might just as well be said that R inserted

vs. 1, 2, and modified ver. 3.  Both passages stand on

the same footing, and should be dealt with in the same


      2.  The formality and precision of statement.  This is

the uniform style of the genealogies leading to the chosen

race as distinguished from those belonging to the diver-

gent lines, whether attributed to P or J.

     3.  tlol;OT generations (ver. 1).  See chs. vi.-ix., Marks

of P; No. 1.

     4.  tUmD; likeness (vs. 1, 3).  See ch. i. 1-ii. 3.

     5.  Ml,c,  image (ver. 3).  This word occurs here and



ix. 6, with specific allusion to i. 26, 27; and besides in

the Hexateuch only Num. xxxiii. 52 J.

     6. hbAqen;U rkAzA male and female (ver. 2).  See chs. vi.-ix.,

Marks of P, No. 12.

     7. dyliOh beget (vs. 3 sqq.).  See chs. vi.-ix., Marks of P,

No. 20.

     8. Myhilox<-tx,  j`l.ehat;hi walk with God (vs. 22, 24).

This phrase occurs besides vi. 9 P, and nowhere else in

the Old Testament.  The nearest approach to it is walk

before God (xvii. 1 P; xxiv. 40 J; xlviii. 15 E). 

     The assertion that according to this writer "this first

age of the world was still a time of rest and primitive

perfection, into which corruption did not penetrate till

toward its close" (vi. 9 sqq.), is gratuitous and un-

founded.  It has no basis whatever in the sacred text. 

The universal corruption described in vi. 11, 12; finds its

only explanation in the fall of man (ch. iii.), and the sub-

sequent development and spread of evil (ch. iv.; vi. 1-8),

and proves conclusively that these passages cannot be

separated and assigned to distinct sources.

      The names of God are appropriately used in this chap-

ter.  Elohim is rendered necessary in ver. 1 by its refer-

ence to i. 27, and Jehovah in v. 29 by its reference to

iii. 17.  Elohim is required in vs. 22, 24, since walking

with God is a general designation of piety as contrasted

with what is earthly and sensual.



(CH. VI. 1-8)


     In regard to the paragraph Gen. vi. 1-8, the most re-

cent critics have fallen back upon the position taken up

by fragmentists, such as Vater, who affirmed that it was

not only disconnected with the genealogy in ch. v.,

which precedes, and with the account of the Hood which

52               THE GENERATIONS OF ADAM


succeeds it (vi. 9 sqq.), but that it falls apart itself into

two unrelated paragraphs (vs. 1-4) concerning the pri-

meval giants, J', and (vs. 5-8) the divine purpose to

destroy the world and save Noah, J.

     But the fact is that there is the most intimate connec-

tion throughout, and this passage can neither itself be

split into fragments nor sundered from the context in

which it stands.  The genealogy in ch. v. conducts the

line of descent by regular steps from Adam to Noah,

pausing here because there was something to record

about Noah before proceeding further, and departing

from the analogy of the rest of the chapter by naming

three sons of Noah instead of one, as in the case of every

preceding patriarch, because they were all concerned in

what was to follow.  The closing verse of ch. v. is thus

directly preparatory for the account of the deluge which

comes after.  Further, this verse contains the statement

of Noah's age at the birth of his children, but the length

of his subsequent life and the duration of the whole,

which had been regularly given in the case of preceding

patriarchs, are here wanting.  These are, however, sup-

plied (vii. 6) by the statement of Noah's age at the com-

ing of the flood, and then, after the account of the deluge

had been given and all that was to be said further about

Noah, there follows in the identical forms of the geneal-

ogy (ch. v.) the time that Noah lived after the flood and

the total of his years (ix. 28, 29).  This is a clear indica-

tion that this genealogy, instead of being broken off and

terminated at the close of ch. v., is simply enlarged by

the insertion of the narrative of the deluge, which is in-

corporated within it.  After this the divergent lines of

descent are introduced (ch. x.), and then the main gene-

alogy is resumed, and proceeds (xi. 10-26) until it

reaches the name of Abram, when it pauses, or rather is

enlarged again, to receive the history of the patriarchs.



     Again, vi. 1-8 is formally linked to what precedes in

the original Hebrew by Vav Consecutive, and by the

statement of men's beginning to multiply on the face of

the earth, which sums up the substance of ch. v. in a

few words, the expansion of the race being indicated by

the statement repeated in the case of each patriarch,

"He begat sons and daughters."  It is further appropri-

ate to the connection as preparing the way for what fol-

lows, by explaining the universality of the corruption

which was the moral cause of the flood.  This is the

subject of vs. 1-4, which is accordingly intimately re-

lated to vs. 5-8, and leads directly to it, making that

clear which would otherwise be quite unaccountable.

      The sons of God (vs. 2, 4) are not angels nor demi-

gods,1 whose intermarriage with the daughters of men

brought forth a race of monsters or superhuman beings.

    1.  This purely mythological conceit was foisted upon

the passage in certain apocryphal books like the book

of Enoch; also by Philo and Josephus, who were misled

by the analogy of ancient heathen fables.  But it was

repelled by the great body of Jewish and Christian in-

terpreters from the earliest periods, though it has been

taken up again by a number of modern scholars.  It is

assumed by them that a transgression of angels is here

spoken of, though the existence of angels has not been

before mentioned nor in any way referred to in the pre-

vious part of the book of Genesis. This view has no

sanction whatever in Scripture.  Jude, vs. 6, 7, and 2


     1The Targums and some other Jewish authorities understand by

"sons of God " nobles, men of high rank or official station, who in Ps. 

lxxxii. 6 are denominated "sons of the Most High"; and by "daugh-

ters of men" women of inferior position, as in Ps. xlix. 2; lxii.9,

Mdx ynb are contrasted with wyx rnb as men of low degree with men

of high degree.  But no such contrast is suggested here; and the in-

termarriage of different classes in society is nowhere represented as dis-

pleasing to God or provoking the divine judgment.



Pet. ii. 4 have been tortured into sustaining it; but they

contain no reference to this passage whatever.  And

there is no analogy anywhere in the Bible for the adop-

tion by the sacred writers of mythological notions in

general, or for the idea in particular of the intermarriage

of angels and men.  Sexual relations are nowhere in

Scripture attributed to superior beings.  There is no

suggestion that angels are married or are given in mar-

riage; the contrary is expressly declared (Matt. xxii. 30).

Male and female deities have no place in the Bible, ex-

cept as a heathen notion which is uniformly reprobated.

The Hebrew language does not even possess a word for

"goddess."  The whole conception of sexual life, as con-

nected with God or angels, is absolutely foreign to He-

brew thought, and for that reason cannot be supposed to

be countenanced here.

      2.  The sole foundation for this mistaken interpreta-

tion is the allegation that "sons of God" must, accord-

ing to Scriptural usage, mean "angels;" which, how-

ever, is not the case.  Even if that were the more -usual

and obvious interpretation of the phrase, which it is not,

the connection in which it stands would compel us to

seek a different meaning for it here, if that were possible,

and one which would be compatible with marriage. 

Sons of God" Myhilox<hA  yneB; is a poetic designation of

angels occurring three times in the book of Job (i. 6 ; ii.

1; xxxviii. 7) and a like expression  Mylixe yneB; is found

twice in the Psalms in the same sense (xxix. 1; lxxxix.

6).  Daniel iii. 25,  NyhilAx< rBa "son of the gods," has also

been appealed to; but this has nothing to do with the

case, as it is the language of Nebuchadnezzar, and repre-

sents a genuine heathen conception.  Angels are no-

where so called in the Pentateuch, nor anywhere in the

Bible but in the few passages already referred to.

     3.  On the contrary, "sons of God " is a familiar des-



ignation of the chosen race, the worshippers of the true

God. Moses is instructed to say to Pharaoh (Ex. iv.

22), Thus saith Jehovah, Israel is my son: let my son

go.  So Deut. xiv. 1, Ye are the sons of Jehovah your

God.  In the Song of Moses (Deut. xxxii.) this idea of

sonship occurs repeatedly.  Ver. 5, They have dealt

corruptly with him, they are not his sons.  Ver. 6, Is

Jehovah not thy father?  Ver. 18, He is called the Rock

that begat thee, the God that gave thee birth: and the

people are called (ver. 19) his sons and his daughters.

Hos. i. 10, Ye are the sons of the living God; xi. 1, Is-

rael is called God's son.  Isaiah in repeated passages

speaks of the people as God's sons (Isa. i. 2; xliii. 6 ;

xlv. 11).  In Jer. xxxi. 20 the LORD calls Ephraim his

dear son, his favorite child.  In Ps. lxxiii. 15 the pious

are called "the generation of God's children."  And, on

the other hand, the worshippers of false gods are called

their children.  Thus (Num. xxi. 29) the people of Moab

are spoken of as the sons and daughters of Chemosh. 

Mal. ii. 11, an Israelite who had taken a foreign wife is

said to have married the daughter of a strange god.  It

is in entire accord with this Biblical usage that the pious

race, who adhered to the true worship of God, are called

the sons of God in contrast with the descendants of

Cain, who had gone out from the presence of Jehovah,

and abandoned the seat of his worship entirely.

      4.  And this brings the verses before us into corre-

spondence with numerous other passages of the Penta-

teuch in its practical aim.  The law of Moses again and

again forbids intermarriage with the Canaanites lest they

should contaminate Israel and seduce them to idolatry.

The book of Genesis inculcates the same lesson when it

depicts Abraham's concern about the marriage of Isaac

(xxiv. 3, 4), and that of Isaac and Rebekah about the

marriage of Jacob (xxvii. 46 ; xxviii. 1, 2), the distress



which Esau's marriage caused his parents (xxvi. 34, 35;

xxviii. 6-8), and the trials of Jacob's family at Shechem

(ch. xxxiy).  If the verses before us point out the ruin-

ous consequences of the intermarriage of the godly race

with the ungodly, it furthers an aim which the writer of

Genesis and of the Pentateuch evidently had greatly at

heart.  A warning not to intermarry with angels would

be altogether unmeaning.

      5.  This explanation of how it came to pass that the

pious portion of the race were infected with the uni-

versal degeneracy is not only appropriate in the connec-

tioni but is necessary to account for the universality of

the following judgment, which is repeatedly and largely

insisted upon.  This is an integral and essential part of

the narrative, the omission of which would leave an un-

filled chasm.  The primal source of human corruption

had been germinally shown in the fall (ch. iii.); the

degeneracy of the Cainites had been traced (ch. iv.).

Nothing but good, however, had thus far been said of the

race of Seth (iv. 26; v. 22, 24, 29).  That this pious race

were themselves involved in the degeneracy which had

overtaken the rest of mankind, is here stated for the first

time.  But this is necessary to explain why the whole

race of man, with the exception of a single family, should

be doomed to destruction.

     6.  The explanation now given is further confirmed by

ver. 3, where sentence is passed for the offence described

in the preceding verse.  In what the offence consisted,

if the sons of God were angels, is not very obvious.  It

is not illicit intercourse which is described; the terms

used denote lawful marriage.  But if it was wrong for

the angels to marry women, the angels surely were the

chief offenders; and yet no penalty is denounced upon

angels.  The divine sentence falls exclusively upon men.

There is such an obvious incongruity in this that



Budde1 insists that ver. 3 is an interpolation and does not

belong in this connection, but has been transferred from

the account of the fall of our first parents. The incon-

gruity that is alleged, however, does not show the verse

to be an interpolation, but simply that the mythological

sense which has been given to the passage is false.

      7.  The word Nephilim, occurring ver. 4, has given rise

to the strange deduction that this passage originally

stood in no connection with the account of the flood;

that the author of it in fact knew of no such event.  The

only foundation for this inference is that the same word

is found again in N urn. xiii. 33, in the evil report of the

spies respecting Canaan.  If the Nephilim here spoken

of were still in existence in the days of Moses, how could

there have been a catastrophe in the interval which swept

away all mankind except the family of Noah?  But this

rests upon the unproved assumption that the Nephilim

of the book of Numbers were lineal descendants of those

of Genesis.  And on this uncertain basis the author or

compiler of Genesis is charged with the absurdity of in-

troducing a passage as preliminary to the deluge, which

by its very terms implies that no deluge had taken place.

Could he have so grossly mistaken its meaning?  Or is

it not possible that modern critics may have put a wrong

interpretation on these isolated verses?  The mere fact

that the same term, "Nephilim," is applied both to ante-

diluvians and to Canaanites is a very slender premise on

which to base so extraordinary a conclusion.  The word

is obscure in its meaning and its derivation.  It is more

probably an appellative or descriptive term than a gen-

tile noun.  The LXX. translates it "giants;" other old

Greek versions render it "assailants " or " violent men."

It does not occur again in the narrative of the conquest

of Canaan, as though it were the proper name of a tribe,

     1 Biblische Urgeschichte, p. 30.

58               THE GENERATIONS OF ADAM


but only in the report of the spies, whose excited imagi-

nation could best express the terror inspired by these

men of great stature and powerful frame by saying that

they were the old giants revived.

     It is further to be observed that the Nephilim are not

said to have sprung from the union of the sons of God

with the daughters of men.  The statement is that the

Nephilim were in the earth prior to these intermarriages,

and also after these intermarriages had taken place.  But

it is not said that they were in any case the fruit of such

marriages. The critics, however, tell us that though this

is not expressly stated, it is implied.  This is by no

means necessarily so.  But Suppose it to be granted; the

mythological interpretation is an impossibility neverthe-

less.  The idea that the Nephilim were a superhuman

race sprung from the union of angels with the daughters

of men is completely nullified by the explicit declaration

that the Nephilim existed before such marriages took

place as well as after.  No new species of creature can

be intended, therefore, whose origin is traced to the in-

termarriage of different orders of beings.

     8. It is objected that "the daughters of men" must

have the same universal sense in ver. 2 as in ver. 1; and

that the contrast of "the sons of God" with "the daugh-

ters of men" shows that different orders of being are

here referred to. But this contrast works precisely the other

way.  It has been already shown that in Scripture lan-

guage the sons of God are his chosen people--the God-

fearing race.  In contrast with them "the daughters of

men" are necessarily limited to the rest of mankind, the

ungodly mass.  Abundant illustrations can be given of

the restriction put upon universal terms by their context.

In Jer. xxxii. 20 God is said to have set signs and won-

ders in the land of Egypt, in Israel, and among men.  It

is said of the wicked (Ps. lxxiii. 5), "They are, not in



trouble as men; neither are they plagued like men."  In

Judg. xvi. 17, Samson says: "If I be shaven I shall be-

come weak and be like all men."  No one has ever in-

ferred from these passages that Egypt and Israel, the

wicked and Samson, belonged to some other race of be-

ings because they are set in contrast with "men."  The

universal term is restricted by its connection; and hence

the English version properly inserts the word "other "

and reads "other men."1  A precisely parallel case may

be found in the sentence pronounced upon the serpent

(Gen. iii. 15), "I will put enmity between thee and the

woman, and between thy seed and her seed."  The seed

of the woman interpreted by the following verse and

taken in its unlimited sense would denote all her de-

scendants.  But the contrast with the seed of the serpent

necessarily limits it to those of her race who have not

fallen under the power of evil, and of whom alone it can

be said that they shall bruise the serpent's head. 

     9.  Whatever interpretation be put upon doubtful ex-

pressions in ver. 3, it plainly intimates the divine pur-

pose to inflict some penalty affecting the life of the whole

human race.  "His days shall be an hundred and twenty

years," if spoken of the generation then living, would

mean that they should not survive that limit; if of suc-

cessive generations of men, that this should henceforth

be the term of human life.  The former is demanded by

     1Professor Strack (Comment. on Genesis, p. 21.) refers likewise to

several other passages in which general terms are limited by the con-

nection, e.g., Gen. xiv. 16, "the women and the people," i.e., the rest

of the people; or in which the same expression is used first in a uni-

versal and then in a restricted sense.  In Judg. xix. 30 "the children of

Israel "means the entire people, but in the immediately following

verses (xx. 1-3) all except Benjamin.  In 1 Sam. xiii. 6 "the people "

first means the whole, then a portion, and in ver. 7, "all the people "

means the rest of the people. So Lev. viii. 15, "the blood " and

"the" (rest of the) "blood."  Compare Ex. xxix. 12; Lev. iv. 7, 18,

25, 30, 34.



the context.  The latter is preferred by, critics whose

uniform usage is to interpret at variance with the context,

if possible.  It is here absolutely without support.

There is no suggestion anywhere that the duration of

human life was ever fixed at one hundred and twenty

years.  It is contradicted by all that is recorded of the

ages of subsequent patriarchs from Noah to Jacob.

This verse, then, explicitly points to a catastrophe, in

which that whole generation should be involved, and

which should take place in one hundred and twenty years.

      10.  Finally, it is to be remarked that the argument

for diversity of writers is not here rested in any measure

upon differences of diction and style.  The attempt which

is made in this connection to analyze one of the so-called

Pentateuchal documents still further into primitive and

secondary portions, and to assign vi. 1-4, with a few other

brief passages, to J', in distinction from J", is stoutly re-

sisted by Dr. Dillmann,1 who says, "Aim, the writer's

style and linguistic peculiarities are alike throughout the

alleged older and more recent J passages; and one can-

not see how the later writer could succeed in imitating

the primitive document in so deceptive a manner; more-

over, the differences between the passages of the

alleged primitive document are actually much greater than be-

tween it and that which is alleged to be secondary."

Budde,2 too, has pointed out in detail the exact conform-

ity of vi. 1, 2, in all its clauses and expressions, to the

language of other passages, which are ascribed by the

critics to the document J.

     This passage has been considered thus at length in

     1Die Biieher Ntimeri, Deuteronomium und Josua, P. 632, so, too,

Genesis, p. 89, and yet on p. 117 he not very consistently concludes that

vs. 1-4 is a paragraph from a more ancient document which J has incor-

porated into his work, and has modified the style of vs. 1, 2, into con-

formity with his own.

     2 Biblische Urgeschichte, p. 6.



order to show how futile is the critical allegation that

the opening verses of ch. vi. are imbued with mytho-

logical ideas, and have been inserted here from some un-

known document, and made to bear a sense at variance

with their original and proper meaning.  We have before

seen how groundless is the assertion that iv. 17-24 im-

plies that there had been no deluge.  Neither is there

any such implication in xi. 1-9.  The further conclusion

that these passages are isolated extracts from a common

source, which knew nothing of any such catastrophe,

falls of itself.


     Dillmann finds the following indications of J in vs. 1,

2, 5-8.

     1. Jehovah.  The divine names will be considered


      2. lHehe begin, also in P (Num. xvii. 11, 12) (E. V. xvi.

46, 47).

3.  hmAdAxEhA  yneP;-lfa on the face of the ground.  Though

hmAdAxE is made a criterion of J, and its presence in a pas-

sage is held to warrant its reference to J, it nevertheless

occurs in P (Gen. i. 25; vi. 20; ix. 2).  And it is only by

critical artifice that hmAdAxE yneP; (viii. 13b) is excluded from

P, though it is enclosed between vs. 13a, 14, which are

both attributed to P, and it is the direct continuation of

13a, and is in structure conformed to vi. 12, P.  The

occurrence of  Cr,x, in 13a and of  hmAdAxE in 13b does not

justify the assumption of different sources any more than

the same change in vii. 3, 4, or in viii. 7, 8; see also vs.

9, 11, where no one dreams of a difference of sources.

     4.  MdAxAhA  Though Adam is used as a proper noun in

P, it is also treated as a common noun, and as such has

the article in i. 27; vii. 21; ix. 5, 6.

5. bOF in a physical sense.  So in P (Gen. i. 4; xxv. 8 ;

62               THE GENERATIONS OF ADAM


Lev. xx-vii. 102 129 14, 33; Num. xiv. 7; xxx-vi. 6).  If it is

not applied to personal beauty in P, the simple reason is

that the critics do not assign to P any passage in which

this idea is expressed.

     6.  rc,ye imagination.  This word occurs but three times

in the Hexateuch (Gen. vi. 5; -viii. 21; Deut. xxxi. 21),

and is uniformly by the critics referred to J.

     7. qra only.  This word, which occurs repeatedly in J,

E, and D, does not chance to be found in the passages

attributed to P.

      8.  bc.efaq;hi to be grieved. This verb is here found in a

J passage (vi. 6).  It occurs twice besides in the Hexa-

teuch, once in the same (Hithpael) form (xxxiv. 7), and

once in a different species (Niphal) (xlv. 5).  The critics

claim them all for J, but in so doing have to resort to a

somewhat violent procedure.  Ch. xxxiv. 7 is in a P con-

nection, the preceding verse  and the following verses be-

ing given to P; but ver. 7 has this J word, an E phrase,

"which ought not to be done " (cf. xx. 9), and a D phrase,

"wrought folly in Israel " (Deut. xxii. 21), a combination

which is readily explained on the assumption of the unity

of the Pentateuch, but on the principles of the divisive

critics is sufficiently puzzling.  So without more ado the

refractory verse is cut out of the connection to which it

manifestly belongs, and the entire conglomerate is made

over to  J.  Gen. xlv. 5 is in an E connection, and con-

tains what are regarded as E characteristics, but is split

in two in order to give this verb to J.

     9.   hHAmA  blot out, destroy.  See under chs. vi.-ix., Marks

of P,  No. 19.

      10. NHe xcAmA find favor.  It is not surprising that this

expression, which naturally has its place chiefly in narra-

tive sections, does not occur in P, to which only occa-

sional scraps of ordinary narrative are assigned.  And

yet it requires some nice critical surgery to limit it to J.



Gen. xxxiv. 11 is in a P connection.  Shechem there con-

tinues the entreaty begun by his father (vs. 8-10, P), and

the sons of Jacob make reply to Shechem as well as to his

father (vs. 13-18, P).  Nevertheless this verse is sundered

from its connection and given to J on account of this very


     11. "Human feelings attributed to God" (vi. 6, 8).

Elohim is the general term for God, and describes him

as the creator of the world and its universal governor,

while Jehovah is his personal name, and that by which

he has made himself known as the God of a gracious rev-

elation.  Hence divine acts of condescension to men and

of self-manifestation are more naturally associated with

the name Jehovah; whence it follows that anthropo-

pathies and anthropomorphisms occur chiefly in Jehovah

sections.  But there is no inconsistency between the

ideas which these are intended to suggest and the most

spiritual and exalted notions of the Most High.  The

loftiest conceptions of God are, throughout the Scriptures,

freely combined with anthropomorphic representations. 

His infinite condescension is no prejudice to his supreme

exaltation.  These are not different ideas of God sepa-

ately entertained by different writers, but different as-

pects of the divine Being which enter alike into every

true conception of him.  The writer of 1 Sam. xv. 35

does not hesitate to say, "Jehovah repented," though he

had said but a few verses before (ver. 29), "he is not a

man that he should repent."  The prophet Amos de-

scribes Jehovah's majestic greatness in lofty terms (v. 8),

and yet speaks of his repenting (vii. 3), and of his smelling

the odors of Israel's offerings (v. 21).  "Jehovah smelled

a sweet savour" (Gen. viii. 21, J), is identical in thought

and language with the constant phrase of the ritual, "a

sweet savour unto Jehovah" (Lev. i. 13, P; cf. Lev. xxvi.

31).  There is, accordingly, no incompatibility between

64               THE GENERATIONS OF ADAM


the representations of God as Jehovah and as Elohim.

These supplement and complete each other, and there is

not the slightest reason for imputing them to the variant

conceptions of distinct writers.

      Jehovah is used in vs. 3, 5-8 because the reference is

to his plan of grace and salvation, which the growing

wickedness of men threatened to defeat: in order to pre-

vent this frustration of his purpose he determines to de-

stroy the entire human race with the exception of right-

eous Noah.  Elohim is used in ver. 2, because of the

contrast between the human and the dime, those of

an earthly and those of a heavenly mind--between the

daughters of men and the sons of God.











THE FLOOD (CH. VI. 9-IX. 17)


     IN the passages hitherto examined the portions referred

respectively to P and J have been separate sections; and

an ostensible ground of partition has been found in the

alternation of divine names, in difference of subject, or in the

varied treatment of the same theme.  But now and

henceforward P and J are supposed to be blended in

what has every appearance of being one consistent and

continuous narrative.  And great critical tact and skill

are needed to separate what has been so intimately

joined together.  Nevertheless the narrative of the deluge

is counted one of the firmest supports of the divisive hy-

pothesis.  It is affirmed that--

     1.  When properly disentangled chs. vi.-ix. will be

found to contain two entirely distinct accounts of the

deluge, each complete in itself, and that these differ irrec-

oncilably in several respects.

     2.  There are repetitions which show that two different

accounts have been put together.

     3.  The alternation of divine names in successive para-

graphs shows that these have proceeded from different


     4.  The same thing can be inferred from diversities of

language and style.

66               THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH




The Prophetic Narrator, J, in Italic.

The Priestly Writer, P, in Roman.

The Redactor in Brackets.


       VI. 5. And the LORD saw that the wickedness of man

was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the

thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  6. And it

repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth,

and it grieved him at his heart.  7.  And the LORD said,

I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of

the ground [both man and beast, and creeping thing, and

fowl of the heaven];  for it repenteth me that I have made

them.  8. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.




     Noah was a righteous man, perfect in his- generations:

Noah walked with God.  10.  And Noah begat three sons,

Shem, Ham, and Japheth.  11.  And the earth was cor-

rupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

12.  And God saw the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt;

for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

     13.  And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is

come before me; for the earth is filled with violence

through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the

earth.  14.  Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms

shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and

without with pitch. 15.  And this is how thou shalt make

it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, the breadth

of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.  16.

A light shalt thou make to the ark, and to a cubit shalt

thou finish it upward; and the door of the ark shalt thou

THE FLOOD (CH. VI.9-IX. 17)                       67


set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third

stories shalt thou make it.  17. And I, behold, I do bring

the flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh,

wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; every

thing that is in the earth shall die.  18. But I will estab-

lish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt come into

the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy son's

wives with thee.  19.  And of every living thing of all

flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark; to

keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.

20.  Of the fowl after their kind, and of the cattle after

their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after

his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep

them alive.  21.  And take thou unto thee of all food that

is eaten, and gather it to thee; and it shall be for food

for thee and for them.  22.  Thus did Noah; according

to all that God commanded him, so did he.

      VII. 1. And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and

all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous

before me in this generation.  2. Of every clean beast thou

shalt take to thee seven and seven, the male and his female

and of the beasts that are not clean two, the male and his

female:  3.  also of the fowl of the heaven, seven and seven,

male and female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the

earth.  4.  For yet seven days, and I will cause it to

rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every

living thing that I have made will I destroy from off the

face of the ground.  5.  And Noah did according to all that

the LORD commanded him.  6.  And Noah was six hundred

years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.

7.  And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his

sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of

the flood.  8. [Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not

clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon

the ground  9.  there went in two and two, unto Noah into

68               THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH


the ark, male and female, as God commanded Noah].  10.

And it came to pass after the seven days, that the waters of

the flood were upon the earth.  11.  In the six hundredth

year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seven-

teenth day of the month, on the same day were all the

fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows

of heaven were opened.  12.  And the rain was upon the

earth forty days and forty nights.  13.  In the selfsame day

entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the

sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of

his sons with them, into the ark;  14.  they, and every

beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind,

and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth

after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird

of every sort.  15.  And they went in unto Noah into the

ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of

life.  16.  And they that went in, went in male and female

of all flesh, as God commanded him: and the LORD shut

him in.  17.  And the flood was forty days upon the earth;

and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was

lift up above the earth.  18. And the waters prevailed,

and increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went

upon the face of the waters.  19.  And the waters pre-

vailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high

mountains, that were under the whole heaven, were

covered.  20.  Fifteen cubits upward did the waters pre-

vail; and the mountains were covered.  21.  And all

flesh died that moved upon the earth, both fowl, and

cattle, and beast, and every creeping thing that creepeth

upon the earth, and every man.  22. All in whose nostrils

was the breath of the spirit of life, of all that was in the

dry land, died.  23.  And every living thing was destroyed

which was upon the face of the ground [both man, and

cattle, and creeping thing, and fowl of the heaven]; and

they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only was

THE FLOOD (CH. VI. 9-IX. 17)             69


left, and they that were with him in the ark. 24. And the

waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty


      VIII. 1. And God remembered Noah, and every living

thing, and all the cattle that were with him in the ark:

and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the

waters assuaged;  2. the fountains also of the deep and

the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from

heaven was restrained;  3. and the waters returned from

off the earth continually:  and after the end of an hundred

and fifty days the waters decreased.  4.  And the ark

rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day

of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.  5.  And the

waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in

the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the

tops of the mountains seen.  6. And it came to pass at the

end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark

which he had made:  7.  and he sent forth the raven, and it

went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from

off the earth.  8. And he sent forth the dove from him, to see

if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;

9. but the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and

she returned unto him to the ark, for the waters were on the

face of the whole earth:  and he put forth his hand, and

took her, and brought her in unto him into the ark.  10.  And

he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the

dove out of the ark;  11. and the dove came in to him, at

eventide; and, lo, in her mouth an olive leaf pluckt off: so

Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.

12.  And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the

dove; and she returned not again unto him any more.  13.

And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year, in

the first month, the first day of the month, the waters

were dried up from off the earth; and Noah removed the

covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the

70               THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH


ground was dried.  14.  And in the second month, on the

seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dry.

     15.  And God spake unto Noah, saying,  16.  Go forth of

the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons'

wives with thee.  17.  Bring forth with thee every living

thing that is with thee of all flesh, both fowl, and cattle,

and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth;

that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be

fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.  18.  And Noah

went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons'

wives with him:  19.  every beast, every creeping thing,

and every fowl, whatsoever moveth upon the earth,

after their families, went forth out of the ark.  20.  And

Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every

clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt-

offerings on the altar.  21.  And the LORD smelled the

sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not

again curse the ground any more for man's sake, for that

the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth;

neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I

have done.  22.  While the earth remaineth, seed-time and

harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and

day and night shall not cease.

     IX. 1.  And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said

unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth. 

2.  And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be

upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of

the heaven, even all that moveth upon the ground, and

all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they de-

livered.  3.  Every moving thing that liveth shall be food

for you; as the green herb have I given you all.  4.  But

flesh with the life thereof, the blood thereof, shall ye

not eat.  5.  And surely your blood of your lives will I

require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and

THE FLOOD (CH. VI. 9-IX. 17)             71


at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother

will I require the life of man.  6.  Whoso sheddeth man's

blood, by man shall his blood be shed:  for in the image

of God made he man.  7.  And you, be ye fruitful, and

multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and mul-

tiply therein.

     8.  And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him,

saying,  9.  And I, behold, I establish my covenant

with you, and with your seed after you:  10.  and with

every living creature that is with you, the fowl, the

cattle, and every beast of the earth with you; of all that

go out of the ark, even every beast of the earth.  11. 

And I will establish my covenant with you; neither

shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of the

flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy

the earth.  12.  And God said, This is the token of the

covenant which I make between me and you and every

living creature that is with you, for perpetual genera-

tions:  13.  my bow have I set in the cloud, and it shall

be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

14.  And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over

the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud, 15. and

I will remember my covenant, which is between me and

you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters

shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.  16.

And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon

it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between

God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon

the earth.  17.  And God said unto Noah, This is the

token of the covenant, which I have established between

me and all flesh that is upon the earth.




     Let us now examine the portion of the narrative which

is assigned to J, and see whether it gives a complete ac-



count of the flood, with no breaks or interruptions.  It

begins with vi. 5-8.  We read in ver. 8, "But Noah

found grace in the eyes of the LORD."  This implies that

the reader had already been made acquainted with Noah.

And so he had in the scriptural account, which details

his ancestry in ch. v.; but this is given by the critics to P.

No previous mention of Noah, or allusion to him is made

in the sections attributed to J; yet here he is spoken

of as a well-known personage.  Evidently something is

wanting in J corresponding to what has been abstracted

from preceding chapters and assigned to P.  The critics

endeavor to escape this difficulty by alleging that v. 29,

in which Noah is mentioned, belongs to J.  But in doing

so they violate their own test.  It is one of their criteria

for distinguishing these documents that in J the mother

gives name to the child, but in P the father; see Dillmann

on Gen. x-vi. 11.  Consequently, on their own principles,

"And he (Lamech) called his name Noah" must belong

to P; and not to J.  In ver. 7 we are told that the redac-

tor has inserted the second clause, "both man and beast,

and creeping, thing, and fowl of the heaven," because such

detailed enumerations are foreign to J's supposed style.

This is a confession that the text in its present form can-

not on critical principles be assigned to J.  It does not

suit the hypothesis, but must be amended into conform-

ity -with the hypothesis.  In other words, the hypothesis

must here be supported by an inference drawn from

the hypothesis.  But this clause, though unwelcome to the

critics, cannot be omitted from the verse, for the plural

pronoun "them" at the end of it refers to these particu-

lars in this second clause, not merely to "man" in the

first clause, which would call for a pronoun in the singu-

lar; see "his heart," ver. 5.

     If, however, we take ver. 7 as the critics have corrected

it leaving, out the second clause then it declares that the

THE FLOOD (CH. VI. 9-IX. 17)             73


LORD said, not to Noah but to himself, i.e., he resolved,

that he would destroy man, no mention being made of

the way in which this was to be effected, nor whether the

inferior creatures would be involved.  J then springs at

once to vii. 1, where "the LORD said to Noah, Come thou

and all thy house into the ark;" though there is no

previous allusion in J to the fact that Noah had a family,

or that there was an ark, or any occasion for there being

an ark.  To be sure, all this has been explained before;

vi. 10 speaks of Noah's three sons, and vs. 13-22 tell

how God told Noah of the coming flood and bid him

build an ark for the safety of his house and the various

species of living things, and that Noah did so.  But all

this is assigned to P; there is not a word of it in J. 

Clearly there is something missing in J; and just that is

missing which has been abstracted from the previous

narrative and given by the critics to P.

     In vs. 7-10 we have J's account of Noah's entry into

the ark.  But ver. 9, we are told, has been manipulated

by the redactor.  The words "there went in two and

two," "male and female" and "God" are characteristics

of P.  Here again the text is not in accord with the hy-

pothesis; a number of P's words and expressions are in

a J paragraph, and it must be the fault of the redactor.

But this is not all.  There is not a verse in the para-

graph which is just as it should be, if the critics are

right.  The detailed enumeration, "Noah and his sons,

and his wife, and his sons' wives" (ver. 7), instead of

simply Noah and all his house, as ver. 1, is foreign to J;

so in ver. 8, "beasts and fowls and every thing that creep-

eth," instead of "every living thing," as ver. 4; and

"waters of the flood"1 (vs. 7, 10) refer back to P's

     1Noldeke says that the agreement of J and P is very remarkable in

the words lUBma flood,  hbATe ark, and Hano Noah.  Budde and Dillmann

try to escape the admission that ver. 7. J, refers back to ver. 6, P, by

arbitrarily transposing ver. 10 so as to stand before ver. 7.

74               THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH


phrase, vi. 17; vii. 6.  It is said that the redactor "ap-

parently designed to bring the style a little more closely

into harmony with that of P."  But why he should be so

concerned just here to alter expressions which he leaves

unchanged elsewhere, does not appear.  And it is par-

ticularly surprising that he should of his own motion

introduce what the critics consider a discrepancy into

J's account.  How could he make J appear to say in vs.

8, 9, "of clean beasts and of beasts that are not clean

. . . there went in two and two unto Noah into the

ark," in open contradiction, as the critics allege, with what

he had said just before in ver. 2,1 that clean beasts were

to go in seven and seven, and of beasts not clean two?

And yet we are told that the documents "are woven to-

gether in a highly artistic/manner," and the redactor's

work is "admirably" done.  If this is so, he must have

been an intelligent person and could not have made

grossly contradictory statements within the compass of a

few lines without perceiving it.  He certainly could have

seen nothing of the sort here, or he would not gratui-

tously have inserted a discrepancy in the text of his own

accord, which was not there in the document from which

he was copying.  And if he did not see it, perhaps there

is no contradiction after all.  It may be that the critics

are mistaken in fancying that there is one.  And in

point of fact there is no discrepancy between the general

statement that two of every species, a male and a female,

entered the ark and the more particular declaration that

there were seven of every species of clean beasts and two

of those that were not clean.  If, then, the redactor is in

harmony with J (vii. 2, 3), there is no discrepancy be-

tween J (vii. 2, 3) and P (vi. 19 ; vii. 15).

     1 Kayser, p. 8, enlarges the text of vii. 3, to restore it to what he con-

ceives to be its primitive form.  So, too, he modifies the text of vii. 7-9

into what he considers its primitive form.  The fact that it is not as he

would reconstruct it, shows the falsity of his critical presuppositions.

THE FLOOD (CH. VI. 9-IX. 17)             75


     In what follows, the semblance of continuity can only

be made out for J by means of scattered sentences and

clauses torn from their connection in an arbitrary man-

ner.  Thus J proceeds to ver. 12, and then skips to 16b:

"And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty

nights . . . and the LORD shut him in."  It is nat-

ural to ask why the LORD waited forty days before he

shut the door of the ark behind Noah.  It is obvious

that the last clause of ver. 16 has no proper connection

with ver. 12, to which the critics attach it.  It plainly

belongs where it stands in the text.  The severance of

ver. 16 annuls the significant and evidently intended

contrast of the two divine names in this verse, to the

significance of which Delitzsch calls attention, thus dis-

crediting the basis of the critical analysis, which he nev-

ertheless accepts.  Animals of every species went into

the ark, as Elohim, the God of creation and providence

directed, mindful of the preservation of what he had

made; Jehovah, the guardian of his people, shut Noah in.

     The rise of the waters of the flood is depicted in vs.

17-20 in four successive stages.  The critics arbitrarily

sunder one of these (ver. 17) from the rest, and assign it

to J.  The destruction accomplished by the flood is simi-

larly described in three successive statements of grow-

ing intensity (vs. 21-23).  Two of these are parted from

the remaining one and given to J (vs. 22, 23).

     The next clause of J is viii. 2b, "and the rain from

heaven was restrained."  Just before we read in vii. 24,

"the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty

days."  The critics find a discrepancy between this and vii.

4, 12, according to which it rained forty days.  The intel

ligent redactor has been at fault here again.  He has in-

serted this clause respecting the stopping of the rain in

the wrong place.  It should have preceded vii. 24, instead

of following it.  But we may shelter ourselves behind

76               THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH


him once more.  If he saw no impropriety in putting

this clause where he did, perhaps there was none.  He

may not thus have brought J into conflict with himself

after all.  If it had been said that the rain from heaven

was not restrained after one hundred and fifty days had

passed, there would, indeed, have been a discrepancy.

But where is the discrepancy in saying that it had


     The last clause of viii. 2 is separated from the first,

one being given to J, and the other to P.  But this is

severing what of necessity belongs together.  We find

the same combination here as in vii. 11, 12, where the

sources of the flood are described, and the critics split

them asunder after the same fashion.  These sources

were two, viz.:  the rushing in of the waters of the ocean

upon the land, and the torrents descending from the sky.

The tenses of the Hebrew verbs at once indicate to the

reader that the bursting forth of the fountains of the

great deep and the opening of the windows of heaven

are separate items, while the fall of the rain is a sequence

of that which just preceded.  The opening of the win-

dows of heaven prepares the way for the downpour, but

is not the downpour itself.  The thought is not complete

until the actual fall of rain is added.  Comp. Mal. iii. 10.

The opening of the windows of heaven cannot, therefore,

be attributed to one writer and the rain to another; both

belong indissolubly together.  The same is the case with

viii. 2; the last clause is inseparable from the first.  And

besides, "the rain from heaven" is evidently contrasted

with "the fountains of the deep," so that the two clauses

of the verse are bound together thus again.  And ver. 3a

cannot be separated from ver. 2.  The latter states that

the sources of the flood had ceased; but this would not,

of itself account for the subsidence of the water.  The

stopping of the fountains of the deep and of the windows

THE FLOOD (CH. VI. 9-IX. 17)                      77


of heaven are purely negative to this must, be added the

positive flowing off of the water, if the flood was to be

reduced.  To sever this clause from P and give it to J,

as is done by the critics, leaves P's statement inadequate

and incomplete.  And the phraseology used shows the

same thing; "the water returned;"  whither?  certainly

not to heaven (2b), but to the deep (2a), from which the

great body of them had come.  So that if the word "re-

turned" is to have anything like its proper force, ver. 3a

is tied to 2a, and cannot be severed from it as the critics


     Then the sending out of the birds (vs. 6-12) is given

to J.  In vs. 13, 14, the drying of the earth is stated in

two stages; one of these (ver. 13b) is arbitrarily given to

J, and the other (ver. 14) to P.  J makes no allusion to

Noah's leaving the ark, which is another serious break

in his narrative.  This is spoken of, indeed, in the

Scripture account (vs. 15-19); but it is given to P.  So

that here again we miss in J precisely what has been ab-

stracted by the critics and attributed to the other docu-

ment.  J's account concludes with Noah's sacrifice (vs.


     Instead, therefore, of a complete account with no in-

terruptions, we find in the portion assigned to J several

important gaps created purely by the critical partition;

other chasms scantily bridged by scattered clauses torn

from their context, in which they are indispensable, or

attached to passages where they are inappropriate; ex-

pressions which by critical rules cannot belong to J, and

require the assumption, which has no other basis than

the exigencies of the hypothesis, that the text has been

manipulated by the redactor; and discrpancies, so called,

which are wholly due to the redactor's gratuitous inter-


78               THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH




     Let us now see how it is with P.  The first paragraph

assigned to him is vi. 9-22.  We here read (vs. 11, 12),

"And God saw the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt;"

and so corrupt that he was determined to destroy it.  The

form of expression here is with manifest allusion to i.31,

where P had said, "And God saw every thing that he had

made, and, behold, it was very good."  The existing state

of things is plainly set in designed contrast to the state-

ment made at the creation.  But not a word of explana-

tion is offered to account for this dreadful change.  It is

indeed explained sufficiently in the Scripture narrative.

The intervening chapters tell us of the fall, of the grow-

ing degeneracy of the ungodly race of Cain, of the infec-

tion even of the godly race by intermarriage with the rest.

But all this is by the critics attributed to J; there is

nothing of the kind in P.  Plainly something is missing

here; and just that is missing which the critics have

transferred to another document.

     P then proceeds to tell that Noah was instructed to

build the ark, which he did, and records his age at the

coming of the flood (vii 6, 11), and his entry with some

of all living things into the ark (vs. 13-16).

     The sacred writer labors to produce a vivid impression

of the enormous rise of the waters of the flood by de-

scribing it in four successive stages until it reached the

prodigious altitude which it actually attained.  First

(ver. 17), the water rose sufficiently to float the ark.

Then (ver. 18) it rose very much higher still, and the ark

mounted aloft upon its surface.  Next (ver. 19), it at-

tained such a height as to cover all the high mountains

within the entire horizon.  Finally (ver. 20), it reached

its maximum, fifteen cubits above the mountain-tops.

THE FLOOD (CH. VI. 9-IX. 17)             79


This regular gradation is broken apart by the critics,

who assign the first or lowest stage to J, and the other

three stages to P, thus giving to each a truncated de-

scription, which when put together match precisely and

supply just what before was wanting in each.  Is this

a lucky accident, or has not this entire description eman-

ated from one mind?

     The sacred writer seeks again to give adequate expres-

sion to the destruction wrought by the flood by three

successive statements of increasing strength.  First (ver.

21), he declares with emphatic particularity that all flesh

died, fowl and cattle and beast and creeping thing and

man.  Then (ver. 22), in the most universal terms, "All

in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, of all

that was in the dry land, died."  Finally (ver. 23), universal

and particular terms are combined, and the most forcible

expression for complete destruction added in contrast

with the sole survivors: "And every living thing was

wiped out which was upon the face of the ground, both

man and cattle and creeping thing and fowl of the

heaven; and they were wiped out from the earth; and

Noah only was left, and they that were with him in the

ark."  Disregarding these climactic periods, which are

heaped together in order to intensify the contrast of the

last clause, the critics give the first of the sentences to

P, thus sundering it completely from what follows, the

result of which is to make P affirm, in the most absolute

manner, the universality of the destruction without so

much as a single survivor.  The next two verses are

given to J in spite of the enumeration of particulars in

ver. 23, "both man and cattle and creeping thing and

fowl of the heaven," which, according to critical princi-

ples, is foreign to his style, and must be thrown out of

the text as an insertion by the redactor.  The passage

does not correspond with the hypothesis, and is hence

80               THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH


corrected into conformity with it.  And yet this clause,

which is objectionable to the critics and which they pro-

pose to eliminate, is one of the features of the verse

which adapts it to the climactic position that it occupies.

     It has before been shown that viii. 2, 3, cannot be par-

titioned as the critics propose; and that the severance

of vs. 2b, 3, as an insertion from J, would leave P's

statement incomplete.

     The narrative then proceeds after the same analogy to

describe the subsidence of the flood.  And it may be

proper to note that the seven stages of the decline of the

water precisely correspond with the four stages of its

rise added to the three statements of its wide-spread deso-

lation.  First (viii. 1), a wind passed over the earth,

J which served to reduce the volume of the water.  Sec-

ondly (vs. 2-4), the sources of the flood had ceased, and

the water flowed off to such an extent that the ark rested

on the mountains of Ararat.  Thirdly (ver. 5), the water

still further decreased and the tops of the mountains ap-

peared.  Fourthly (vs. 6-9), as the water continued to

sink, a dove was sent forth after forty days, but the

flood was still at such a height that no resting-place

could be found.  Fifthly (vs. 10, 11), after seven days

more the water had abated sufficiently for trees to

emerge, as was shown by the olive leaf plucked off by the

dove.  Sixthly (ver. 12), the dove was sent out and re-

tuned no more.  Seventh, and finally (ver. 13), the day

is noted on which Noah discovered that the water was

dried up from off the earth.  This regular gradation is

spoiled by the critics, who assign (vs. 6-12) the mission of

the birds, to J; the consequence of which is that P

springs at once from ver. 5, the first appearance of the

mountain-tops, to ver. 13, where the waters were dried

up from off the earth.

      The prominence given to the sending out of the birds

THE FLOOD (CH. VI. 9-IX. 17)                      81


in the Chaldean account of the deluge, which is univer-

sally confessed to stand in an intimate relation to that

in Genesis, further shows that any narrative of the flood

would be incomplete if this were not included.  Least

of all can this be questioned by those who maintain that

the Hebrew narrative was borrowed from the Chaldean.

     The paragraph respecting the birds (viii. 6-12) is quite

devoid of any critical marks allying it to one or the other

of the documents, as is apparent from the history of its

treatment.  From Astruc and Eichhorn to the supple-

mentary critics Tuch and Knobel, it was almost uni-

formly assigned to P.  Stahelin is uncertain about it. 

Reuss regards it as the sole surviving remnant of a third

account of the flood, distinct from the other two.  Hup-

feld gives (ver. 7) the raven to J, and (vs. 8-12) the dove

to P.  Friedrich Delitzsch reverses the matter, and gives

the raven to P and the dove to J.  Kayser, Wellhausen,

Kuenen, Dillmann, and others assign the whole to J, in

which they were preceded by the eccentric Ilgen.  The

motive which at present inclines the majority to J, ap-

pears to be twofold.  Such a graphic incident is thought

to befit the more "picturesque" narrator, and this is the

most striking parallel with the cuneiform tablets, with

which J is held to stand in the closest relation.  Both an

argument and an inference are supplied from these two

points of view of a somewhat circular character.  It is as-

signed to J because he is picturesque and allied to the

tablets; and being so assigned proves him to be pictu-

resque and allied to the tablets.  One cannot but feel

that if the critics had anything to gain by so, doing, they

might with equal ease have imputed to the writer of this

paragraph an alleged characteristic of P, and said that

his style was "stereotyped," and abounding in "regular

formulas" and the "repetition of like phrases," thus:

"And he sent forth the raven" (ver. 7); cf. "and he

82               THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH


sent forth the dove" (ver. 8); "and he stayed yet other

seven days and sent forth the dove" (twice, vs. 10, 12);

"waters were abated from off the face of the ground"

(twice, vs. 8, 11), cf. also ver. 9; "to him into the ark"

(twice, ver. 9); "going and returning," (twice (in Heb.),

vs. 3, 7), cf. ver. 5.

     The drying of the ground is likewise stated in two

successive stages.  First (ver. 13), the surface was so far

dried that the water had disappeared.  Then (ver. 14),

the earth was dry.  These are, as before stated, divided

by the critics between J and P.

     P proceeds to tell of Noah's leaving the ark (vs. 15-

19).  But he records no act of worship or thanksgiving

for this great deliverance.  Yet he had spoken of Noah

as a righteous man, who walked with God (vi. 9).  In

fact, throughout the entire patriarchal history P never

mentions an altar or sacrifice or any act of worship. 

These are, indeed, spoken of repeatedly in the sacred

history; but they are invariably referred to other docu-

ments, never to P.  And yet P, according to the critics,

is the priestly writer, who is especially interested in rit-

ual worship and in ceremonial matters.  It is he who re-

cords the institution of the Sabbath (ii. 3), and of cir-

cumcision (xvii. 10), and the prohibition of eating blood

(ix. 4); and he never relates anything derogatory to the

patriarchs, but always exalts them as model men of God.

Is it conceivable that he should have omitted to mention

that Noah devoutly praised God for his merciful inter-

position on his behalf?  Surely there has been an omis-

sion here; and the more evidently so, as a sacrifice is so

prominent a feature in the Chaldean account of the del-


     It thus appears also that there are serious chasms in

P's account likewise, that the symmetry of the narrative

is spoiled in repeated instances by the proposed parti-

                   THE FLOOD (CH. VI. 9-IX. 17)             83


tion, and that passages are rent from their connection

and assigned to J, which are indispensable in the con-

text in which they stand.




      It is further claimed that there are repetitions which

betray the composite character of the narrative, and show

that it has been made up by combining two separate ac-

counts.  But this is a mistake; there are no superfluous

repetitions to warrant such a conclusion.  We are pointed

in the first instance to the opening verses.  It is said

that vi. 5-7 contains J's account of the wickedness of

man and of the LORD'S purpose to destroy the race; then

follows, in vs. 11-13, P's account of the very same thing;

but a slight consideration of the circumstances will make

it appear that the critics' conclusion is altogether unwar-

ranted.  The title (vi. 9), "These are the generations of

Noah," marks the beginning of a new section of the his-

tory, and indicates its subject to be the fortunes of Noah's

family.  In entering upon this topic the writer first ex-

plains the situation with the view of placing distinctly

before the minds of his readers at the outset the causes

of what was about to take place. He commences by

stating the character of Noah (ver. 9b 1), which explains

the intimation in ver. 8 of the special favor shown to him.

He then recapitulates some statements previously made,

which are necessary to the understanding of the follow-

ing narrative.  He speaks of Noah's three sons (ver. 10),

though they had been named in identical terms in v. 32,

which the critics likewise refer to P; no one thinks of


     1Kayser (p. 8) says: "Noah was a righteous man and perfect in his

generations," belongs to J (see vii. 1); "Noah walked with God" to P,

(v 21).  Other critics quietly ignore this identity of expressions, and

give the entire verse, which manifestly belongs together, to P.

84               THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH


a difference of writers because of this repetition.  He

further speaks of the universal corruption (vs. 11, 12);

this had already been mentioned at the close of the pre-

ceding section (ver. 5) as a sequence from facts previously

stated.1  But it lay so at the basis of what was to be re-

corded in this new section that it is mentioned here again,

And there is no more reason for suspecting a diversity of

writers than there is in ver. 10, which all acknowledge to

be by the same writer as v. 32.  It is just such a recapit-

ulation as any writer might be expected to make under

the circumstances.  On the other hand, ver. 13 is not a

repetition of the statement made in ver. 7, but is an ad-

vance upon it.  In ver. 7 mention is made of the LORD'S

purpose to destroy man; in ver. 13 this purpose is com-

municated to Noah, which is quite another thing.

     In vs. 18-20, while directing Noah to build the ark.

God tells him the purpose for which it was to be made,

and that he was to take with him into it some of every

species of living things in order to keep them alive.

After the ark had been built, and the time for sending

the flood drew nigh, the LORD bade Noah to go into it

with his family and with some of every species of ani-

mals (vii. 1-3).  But there is no superfluous repetition

here.  Two distinct divine communications were made

at different times, and each is reported in its proper


     The critics, however, lay great stress upon the fact that

the entry into the ark is twice recorded; vs. 7-92, they;

tell us, is J's account, and vs. 13-16 that of P.  But this,

too, is a mistake; there is nothing here requiring the


     1Noldeke (p. 16) remarks that other sections (v. 1; x. 1, and xi. 27)

in like manner begin with the repetition of what had been before


     2Schrader and Dillmann give vs. 8, 9, to R; Noldeke gives vs. 7-9

to R as his elaboration of the originally brief words of the Jehovist.

THE FLOOD (CH. VI. 9-IX. 17)             85


supposition of distinct documents.  It has been before

shown that vs. 7-9 cannot by critical rules be referred to

J, without a reconstruction of the text in each individual

verse.  But besides this it is to be noted that ver. 6 gives

a general statement of Noah's age at the coming of the

flood; he was then six hundred years old.  In ver. 11

this is stated again with more particularity, in order to

indicate the precise day on which the flood began, viz.,

the six hundredth year of Noah's life, the second month,

the seventeenth day of the month. The critics do not

find this repetition incompatible with the sameness of

the writer; vs. 6 and 11 are both alike referred by them

to P.  In precisely the same manner, with the view of

exhibiting the precision of the divine arrangements, the

sacred writer points out the fact in vs. 13-16 that Noah

and all his company entered the ark on the self-same day

on which the flood broke forth; and the emphasis which

he puts upon this thought appears from the particularity

of detail and the iteration in these verses.  Now why

should this repetition for this evident purpose be any

more suggestive of a diversity of writers than the like

repetition in regard to Noah's age?

     The critics are embarrassed here by their own hypoth-

esis.  Different views have been entertained in respect to

the relation of J and P.  According to some critics J and

P each wrote a separate and independent document, and

these, after circulating singly for a time, were at length

combined by a redactor.  These are known as docu-

mentary critics.  Others have held that J did not write

a complete document of his own, but simply edited an

enlarged edition of P.  The document P was made the

basis, to which J simply made additions, supplementing

it here and there as he had occasion.  These are known

as supplementary critics.

      In the case befol'e us the documentary make this point

86               THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH


against the supplementary critics, that no editor in sup-

plementing a pre-existing work, would introduce of his

own motion what was already in almost identical terms

in the work before him.  Such a superfluous repetition

could only be accounted for by supposing that a redactor

was combining two works, for each of which he had a

great reverence, so that he was reluctant to omit any-

thing that either of them contained.  Thus it came to

pass that after copying a statement from one of his

sources he finds the same thing stated likewise in the

other, and copies it also.  This has a plausible sound.

It certainly silences the' supplementary critics.  But

there are two insuperable difficulties in the way of ac-

cepting the solution which the documentary critics offer.

1.  Judged by their own critical rules the compiler has

not preserved what was peculiar to J in vs. 7-10, but has

conformed it throughout to the style of P.  2.  In other

cases he has not shown a similar care to preserve all the

contents of his Sources.  Why has he not given a dupli-

cate account of the building of the ark, or of the exit

from it, as well as of the entry into it?  The obvious

reason is that in the former there was no coincidence

in time to emphasize, as there was in the latter.  Hence

the emphatic repetition in the one, whereas there was no

occasion for it in the others.

     It has before been shown that the statements respect-

ing the rise of the waters, their destructiveness, and their

subsequent fall cannot be parcelled between different

writers; and that the attempt to find two parallel accounts

of these particulars by J and by P is not successful.  The

verses and clauses which are given to J cannot be sun-

dered from the context in which they stand.  Moreover,

the description of successive stages is not identical repe-

tition, and as such suggestive of distinct documents. 

And if it were, four statements of the rise of the waters,

THE FLOOD (CH. VI. 9-IX. 17)           87


three of their destructive effects, and seven of their fall,

cannot be distributed between two documents without

leaving repetitions in each.  More than two documents

are necessary, if each repetition is indicative of a sepa-

rate writer.  The critical argument is in this case plainly


     It should also be observed that like repetitions are

found in other cases which the critics quietly ignore, and

never think of tracing to a diversity of documents.  Thus

the corruption and violence prevailing in the earth is stated

four times in as many successive clauses (vi. 11, 12); the

entry of all living things into the ark with Noah is re-

peated three times (vii. 14-16), where Dillmann remarks,

"It is as though the author, moved by the momentous

character of the day, could not do enough to satisfy him-

self in the detailed portraiture of the transaction."  God's

establishment of his covenant with Noah is twice stated,

(ix. 9, 11); and the bow in the cloud as the token of the

covenant is mentioned again and again (ix. 12-17).  In

all these cases the critics recognize but one writer.  So,

too, the triple mention of the names of Noah's sons (v. 32;

vi. 10; x. 1) is given to P; the fourth mention of the

same (ix. 18) being assigned to J.  A rule which plays

fast and loose in this manner at the pleasure of the op-

erator, is a very insecure dependence.

     It has also been claimed that Noah's sacrifice and the

LORD'S resolve not to destroy all living things again (viii.

20-22), are parallel to God's blessing Noah, and his cove-

nant not to send another universal flood (ix. 1-17); and

that the former is the account of J, and the latter that of

P respecting the same thing. But these are not the same;

one is the sequel of the other; viii. 21, 22 states the di-

vine purpose, that "the LORD said in his heart;" in ix.

1-17 this purpose is made known to Noah.

     The examination of the narrative of the flood thus

88               THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH


shows that so far from everything being duplicated,

nothing is duplicated from first to last except the entry

into the ark, and that for a special reason not suggestive

of two documents but excluding them.




     It is still further urged that the alternation of divine

names in successive paragraphs of this narrative gives

evidence of its composite character.  It is affirmed that

this requires the assumption of two different writers, who

were in the habit of using different terms in speaking of

the Most High.  One (P) always spoke of him as "God"

(Heb., Elohim); the other (J) as LORD (Heb., Jehovah),

The narrative, as we possess it, has been made up from

the combination of the accounts in these two documents;

and hence the blending of these two names, as they are

here found.  But this is a superficial and mechanical ex-

planation of what is really due to a different and more

satisfactory cause.

     There are two aspects, under which the flood can be

contemplated, and two points of view from which its

place and function in the sacred history can be regarded.

It may be looked upon as the act of the Creator, destroy-

ing the work of his hands because it had become corrupt

and so perverted from its original intent, and at the same

time providing for the perpetuation of the several species

of living things. Or, on the other hand, it may be con-

sidered in its relation to the work of redemption.  The

wickedness of man threatened to put an end to the scheme

of grace and salvation; in order to prevent his merciful

designs from being thwarted thus, the Most High re-

solved to destroy the ungodly race, and rescue the one

surviving pious family to be the seed of a new race,

among whom true religion might be nurtured until it

THE FLOOD (CH. VI. 9-IX. 17)             89


should ultimately fill the whole earth.  The sacred writer

has both these aspects of this great catastrophe in

mind, and he suggests them to his readers by the alter-

nate use of the divine names.  When he has regard to

the divine government and providential care, as mani-

fested in it, he speaks of it as the act of Elohim.  When

he has regard to his special guardianship over the pious,

or to aught that concerns divine worship, he uses the

sacred name Jehovah.

     Thus it is Elohim who sees with displeasure the dis-

order introduced by the corruption of mankind, and

makes known his purpose to destroy them, but institutes

measures for preserving the various species of animals

by means of an ark to be built for this end (vi. 9-22). 

It is Elohim agreeably to whose command creatures of

both sexes went in unto Noah into the ark (vii. 9, 16). 

It is Elohim who remembered Noah and every living

thing that was with him in the ark, and who made a wind

pass over the earth to assuage the waters (viii. 1).  It is

Elohim who bade Noah go forth of the ark, and bring

forth with him every living thing that they may mul-

tiply upon the earth (viii. 15-17).  It is Elohim who

blessed Noah and his sons, as he had blessed man at his

creation (i. 28), bidding them Be fruitful, and multiply,

and replenish the earth (ix. 1).  It is Elohim who estab-

lished his covenant with Noah and with every living

creature, pledging that there should be no flood in future

to destroy all flesh (ix. 8-17).

      On the other hand, it is Jehovah (E. V., the LoRD), in

whose eyes Noah found grace (vi. 8), and who was re-

solved to put a sudden end to the downward progress of

growing wickedness which infected every imagination of

the thoughts of man's heart and threatened to banish

piety from the earth (vs. 5-7).  It is Jehovah who bade

righteous Noah come with all his house into the ark,

90               THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH


and take with him animals fit for sacrifice in larger

numbers than the rest (vii. 1-3).  It is Jehovah who shut

Noah in, after he had entered the ark (ver. 16), though in

the very same verse it is Elohim who commanded that

the beasts of both sexes should enter in.  It is Jehovah

to whom Noah builds an altar and offers sacrifice, and

who graciously accepts the offering (vs. 20, 21).

      It thus appears that the divine names are discrimi-

natingly employed throughout the entire narrative; there

are no superfluous repetitions, suggestive of a combina-

tion of distinct documents; there are serious gaps and

halting-places in each of the accounts, into which the

critics propose to divide the history of the deluge; and

in numerous instances the partition attempted is imprac-

ticable because it would sunder what is plainly indivis-

ible.  It is further noteworthy that there is no pretence

of basing the critical partition of these chapters on di-

versity of diction.  The scattered clauses assigned to J.

which have already been shown to be inseparable from

their contexts, have not even this poor pretext in their

favor.  In fact ,there is scarcely more than three or four

words or phrases in all that is attributed to J in the entire

narrative of the deluge which is claimed elsewhere as

characteristic of that document; while there are several

phrases and forms of speech, as has been already pointed

out that are elsewhere held to be characteristic of P, not

to speak of the word "create" (vi. 7), which in ch. i. is

made a mark of P in distinction from  J.




     The attempt is made to create a variance between vi.

5 and ver. 12 by alleging that J attributes the flood to

the wickedness of man, but P to the corruption of "all

flesh," meaning thereby the entire animal creation as well

                   THE FLOOD (CH. VI. 9-IX. 17)                      91


as man; and when P speaks of the earth being filled

with violence he refers not merely to human deeds

of violence and crime, but also to the rapacity and ferocity

of beasts which prey upon weaker animals instead of feed-

ing upon the herbage allowed them at their creation (i.

30).  But the term "all flesh" has a wider or narrower

meaning as determined by the connection.  When it is

said (vii. 21) that "all flesh died" in the flood, men and

animals are both intended.  But vii. 15, "two and two of

all flesh went in unto Noah into the ark," has reference

to animals only.  And in such phrases as "God of the